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Stetson Trustees Name Presidential Search Committee

Joe Cooper ’79, M.B.A. ’82, chair of the Stetson University Board of Trustees, also will head up the new Presidential Search Committee.

With the retirement announcement by President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., on Feb. 15, the Stetson University Board of Trustees has assembled an impressive Presidential Search Committee. Libby plans to depart Stetson in June 2020 after 11 years as president — leaving ample time to search for Stetson’s 10th president as the university seeks to continue its marked ascension during Libby’s tenure.

Now, a fateful decision remains to be made. 

“The choice of a new president is possibly the most important function charged to the Board of Trustees by Stetson University’s Charter and By-Laws,” said Joe Cooper ’79, M.B.A. ’82, chair of the Board of Trustees. “The Board welcomes that responsibility and is committed to making that decision in the context of a process that is thoughtful and fair, one that reaches out to you and incorporates your input.” 

Stetson President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., will retire in June 2020.

The members of the committee “bring a strong passion for Stetson and collectively, bring a deep understanding of our university, as well as diverse perspectives from across Stetson’s community,” added 

Cooper, who will chair the committee. 

The committee will partner with a higher education executive search firm, which is expected to be chosen by mid-April. Also in April, broad forums will be conducted across Stetson’s campuses in DeLand and Gulfport and its two satellite centers — encompassing faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university — to help identify opportunities and challenges and align those with the key attributes to seek in the next president. 

The formal search is expected to commence in June and culminate with the naming of a new president by the end of November.

“We are committed to attracting an outstanding leader who will lead our Stetson community as we embrace our vision of educating students to “Go Beyond,” Cooper concluded, referring to the university’s aptly named new branding campaign.

Members of the Presidential Search Committee:

Kristen David Adams/ Professor of Law, College of Law

Maureen Breakiron-Evans ’76/ Stetson University Board of Trustees

Hyatt Brown, Hon. ’92/ Stetson University Board of Trustees

Yvonne Chang, E.M.B.A. ’09/ Stetson University Board of Trustees

Joe R. Cooper ’79, M.B.A. ’82/ Chair, Presidential Search Committee; Chair, Stetson University Board of Trustees

Giovanni Fernandez / Associate Professor of Finance; Executive Director, Graduate Programs, School of Business Administration

Amy Gipson/ Associate Vice President, Development Strategy and Communications

F. Robert Huth/ Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Tony Jenkins / Stetson University Board of Trustees

Camille King / Professor of Psychology; Chair, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Harlan “Butch” Paul ’76 / DeLand Community Leader; former member of Stetson University Board of Trustees (2004-2016)

Timothy Peter / Interim Dean, School of Music; Professor of Music; Director of Choral Activities

Luis Prats ’78, J.D. ’81 / Stetson University Board of Trustees

Markala Roland / Class of 2022, Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholar

Charles A. Wolfe ’85/ Stetson University Board of Trustees

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