- Associated Press - Friday, December 4, 2015

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - The committee leading the search for a new president of Washington State University is delighted with the list of candidates so far, said Mike Worthy, chair of WSU’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

More than 20 candidates have already expressed interest in the job at this early stage, Worthy said.

The committee is working to identify the experience, background and characteristics that WSU constituents hope to see in their new leader. Toward that, the committee held nearly 30 meetings around the state to gather information.

“We did a very expansive outreach process,” Worthy said. “For almost a month, we met in a variety of different forums across Washington state at all of the branch campuses.”

The committee was formed soon after the death of president Elson Floyd on June 20.

The Board of Regents expects to name a new president by the end of spring semester next year.

After the meetings, the committee produced a document describing the opportunities and challenges coming with the job, and their goals for the new president.

“We got a lot of really great feedback from WSU alumni and friends about what we should be looking for,” Worthy said.

“In general, we’re all in agreement that we’re looking for someone who is an expert communicator, somebody who is able to listen to feedback from all groups and constituencies of the university and then to play a strong leadership role to help us maximize opportunities for the university,” he said.

The new chief executive should prioritize advancing the university to national prominence, securing funding for upcoming goals and bringing Cougar pride to all parts of the university, according to the document.

The president should also work to integrate the talents of the Greek system more fully into the university; transform all WSU campuses into a system that works together seamlessly; and also work to improve accessibility to higher education, it said.

Worthy said the existing pool of candidates is very diverse and includes current presidents of universities, including land grant universities such as WSU.

“That’s particularly important to us,” he said.

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Information from: The Moscow-Pullman Daily News, http://www.dnews.com

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