Candidates compete for presidency

James Walls | Editor-in-Chief From left to right: Dr. Brent Bates, Dr. Jim Cummins, and Dr. Jennifer Methvin
James Walls | Editor-in-Chief
From left to right: Dr. Brent Bates, Dr. Jennifer Methvin and Dr. Jim Cummins

James Walls

The search for Crowder College’s next president was narrowed down to three candidates on Dec. 20, 2013. Starting in July 2013, after Dr. Alan Marble’s resignation, the Presidential Search Committee accepted 27 applicants for the position. Now, the committee has recommended Dr. Brent Bates of Sedalia, Mo., Dr. Jim Cummins of Neosho, Mo. and Dr. Jennifer Methvin of Hope, Ark. as the three finalists for the Board of Trustees to consider.

“The three finalists were all supported by the entire committee,” said Gale Marsh, presidential search coordinator. “Earlier, the Committee agreed on seven semi-finalists to consider further from the slate of 27. The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) did initial background and reference checks on these seven. After review of the results and discussion by the Search Committee, all agreed that the final three were the best qualified candidates.”

The Presidential Search Committee, comprised of college and community representatives, was formed to help choose Crowder’s next president. Now that the applicants have been narrowed down to the final three, there will be a much broader involvement with the candidates.

“The three candidates will come to campus and will meet with the administrative team, will meet with the college council, will meet with representatives from the faculty and staff association groups. There will be an open forum where students and community members can listen to them make a presentation and then ask questions based on what they hear from each of the candidates,” said Dr. Kent Farnsworth, Interim President of Crowder College. “So, with that final group of three there is very, very broad involvement. And virtually everyone who wishes can have a chance to visit with them.”

However, while the committee is in charge of helping narrow down the applicants, it is the Board of Trustees who has the final vote in the matter.

“The Board makes the final decision, but the Board tries to get as much input from all of those groups as they can,” said Dr. Farnsworth. “So a part of that community forum will be an opportunity also for people to give feedback to the Board on how they respond to the three people that they listen to, and each of those committee groups that they meet with will have the same opportunities.”

The public forums for each of the candidates will take place in early February in the Wright Conference Center, where those who attend will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates and give feedback to the Board of Trustees. Time and days are as follows:

* Dr. Jim Cummins: 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7

* Dr. Brent Bates: 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10

* Dr. Jennifer Methvin: 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12

While students may not feel the need to attend the forums, they are still welcome to go and ask questions.

“I think students have sometimes a better feel for what they think is important to the college’s success as anyone else does,” said Dr. Farnsworth. “So I invite any student to attend and ask whatever questions they have.”