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WVU could name temporary president this week

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University's Board of Governors could select a temporary president to replace Jim Clements and finalize plans for a nationwide search for the next official leader of the school as soon as Thursday.

A special session held Tuesday served as the BOG's third meeting since Clements' resignation in November -- all of which have involved hours-long closed-door sessions and have not produced a candidate for the interim position or key details on the future selection process.

The board plans to hold another emergency meeting Thursday, and members said they hope to have an interim president and a procedure for the national search finalized in time to make recommendations to the Higher Education Policy Commission during its meeting Friday morning, according to BOG Chairman James Dailey.

Friday's HEPC meeting agenda includes "WVU presidential search and approval of interim president" as an item under possible executive, or closed, session.

Dailey applauded WVU board members after Tuesday's nearly three-hour meeting, which was mostly closed to the public, saying he's "sincerely pleased with the interaction of this board.

"This Board of Governors has been as diligent and worked as hard as any I've been associated with. As a result of that, we've made tremendous progress over the last three meetings," he said. "I think that, although we can't take any formal action today, the discussion we've had considering an interim president and the procedure to search for a permanent president have been well worthwhile."

Clements, who has served as WVU's president for the past five years, shocked many in the Mountaineer community on Nov. 11 when he announced he was leaving to become the president of Clemson University.

Clements and his family plan to move to the South Carolina university on Jan. 1.

The WVU Board of Governors has said that whomever it choose as the school's interim president will not be eligible for the permanent job.

BOG members said they hope to have a new WVU president by fall 2014.

The emergency BOG meeting to further discuss the future leadership will be held in Morgantown on Thursday, at 10 a.m.

The HEPC meeting will be held at the West Virginia Regional Tech Park in South Charleston on Friday, at 9 a.m.

In addition to Dailey, the WVU Board of Governors includes Rob Alsop, David Alvarez, Ellen Cappellanti, Thomas Flaherty, Raymond Lane, Diane Lewis, William Nutting, Drew Payne, Edward Robinson, J.R. Rogers, Charles Vest and William Wilmoth, as well as staff representative Dixie Martinelli, faculty representatives Lisa DiBartolomeo and Robert Griffith and student body President Ryan Campione.

Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.mays@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.


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