- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The search committee seeking a new leader for the struggling University of New Orleans will hold public interviews this week with the five candidates under consideration for the job.

The New Orleans Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1R7M00W) the interviews will be held Wednesday through Friday, after which the committee expects to narrow the list down to two or more finalists, who will be presented to the full University of Louisiana System’s board Feb. 23 in a public meeting. At that point, the board is expected to make its choice for the next president.

Each of the five candidates is slated to meet with student leaders, community leaders and UNO alumni and faculty in addition to a public interview with the search committee, which is set to last nearly two hours.

On Wednesday, Glen Cope, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was to be interviewed in the morning and New Orleans Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin in the afternoon.

On Thursday, Jaimie Hebert, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Sam Houston State University in Texas, will be interviewed in the morning and John Valery White, strategic adviser to the president of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, in the afternoon.

John Nicklow, UNO’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, is scheduled for an interview Friday morning.

The search committee is scheduled to reconvene at 2 p.m. Friday to choose at least two finalists.

Over the past eight years, UNO’s state support has shrunk by more than half, from $74 million in 2008-09 to about $33 million in 2014-15. Enrollment has followed a similar downward trajectory, from 17,142 students registered pre-Katrina to just 8,423 last fall - UNO’s smallest class since 1967.

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