Covering Louisiana

Aug 30, 2013 10:46 AM by AP

NSU presidential search narrowed to 2 finalists

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - After three days of on-campus interviews with six semifinalists, the Nicholls State University presidential search committee announced it is sending two to the final round.

The Courier reports Mirta M. Martin, dean of the Reginald F. Lewis School of Business at Virginia State University, and Bruce T. Murphy, vice president for academic affairs at Air University, will go before the University of Louisiana Board of Supervisors, which oversees Nicholls, Sept. 10 in Baton Rouge.

Plans are to hold back-to-back public interviews with the candidates starting at 9 a.m. After hearing from the finalists and deliberating, the board will appoint a new president.

Martin, whose interview was Monday, said her background in corporate finance prepared her to deal with the university's budget challenges.

She also stressed the importance of being available to students.

Asked what she hoped the Nicholls community would remember about her visit, she said, "I would want them to know me for my accessibility, for my relentless pursuit of excellence and for always putting students, faculty and staff first."

Murphy, whose interview was Wednesday, stressed the importance of providing opportunities for students.

"Anyone that calls itself a university has to provide a universe of opportunities," Murphy said. "My first priority is student opportunity and success, and that comes in many forms."

Murphy said he hoped his interview showed his leadership ability and his vision for Nicholls.

"I hope they remember me as the guy who came to campus with his wife and had a positive team approach to leadership and wanted to include different constituencies," he said. "And as someone who has a strong background with accreditation."

Nicholls recently received a warning from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, its accreditation agency.

Longtime President Stephen Hulbert retired Aug. 1.

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