A committee composed of four top Northwest Missouri State University leaders and a to-be-determined number of others has started the search process for a new university president.

Clarence Green assumes office as interim president July 1, but he has agreed to serve for no longer than one year, said Mel Tjeerdsma, the legendary Bearcat Football coach who has served on the NWMSU Board of Regents since 2019. The board has issued RFPs, an abbreviation (request for proposals) that is always used to describe the search for competitive bids. Board members will grade the prices and quality of companies that can help find a permanent successor to John Jasinski, hire the winning firm and appoint people to the search committee.

“So, the RFPs are out, and it’ll then be for us (the regents) to evaluate and select the search firm,” Tjeerdsma said, adding that the board has the exclusive right to offer a contract to whichever candidate prevails. Candidates will be obtained via a national search.

“With the thought being that since the final say is going to be with the regents, the chair of the search committee ought to be one of the regents,” Tjeerdsma said.

Thus, the search chair shall be either Tjeerdsma, Regents Chairman John Moore, Vice Chairwoman Roxanna Swaney or Regent Jason Klindt. Moore indicated on Thursday that the full membership of the committee — which, among others, shall include delegates from the NWMSU Faculty Senate, Student Senate, community of Maryville and university alumni associations — will make that decision.

“It’s very possible that we’ll end up with more than one member from each of these stakeholder groups, after we get input on the optimal balance from each particular group,” Moore said.

Either way, Moore intends to step down from the Board of Regents by summer 2023, when his term expires, prompting Gov. Mike Parson to name a replacement. As regents vacancies are often a matter that goes on the back burner for the state government, particularly during the Missouri Senate confirmations process, Moore could end up serving longer, but he made it plain that helping to select a new president is going to be among his last duties.

Marcus Clem can be reached at marcus.clem@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowClem

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