Presidential search committee named at Hardin-Simmons

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ABILENE—Michael Waters, retired chief executive officer of Hendrick Health System in Abilene, will chair a 15-member presidential search committee at Hardin-Simmons University charged with finding a successor to longtime HSU President Lanny Hall.

lanny hall130Lanny HallJerry Sawyer of El Paso, chair of HSU’s board of trustees, appointed the committee in consultation with other board officers. The committee includes representatives from the university’s trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and student body. 

The committee’s first meeting tentatively is scheduled for early September, when a national search firm is expected to be selected, Sawyer said.

He named the committee less than a month after Hall announced his retirement as HSU’s 15th president, effective June 1, 2016. 

Hall was elected as HSU’s president for the second time in 2009 after previous service as president from 1991 to 2001. He also was the school’s chancellor from 2001 to 2003.

In addition to serving as chair of the search committee, Waters also is vice chair of the board of trustees and chair of the board’s governance committee. Sawyer also will serve on the search committee.

Other committee members

Other search committee members are Jud Powell, a financial consultant in Abilene; Melinda Stricklin, a business leader from Colleyville; Joe Sharp, retired businessman from McKinney; George Newman, an Abilene-area rancher, retired Taylor County judge and HSU professor; Lynn Craft, retired president and CEO of the Dallas-based Baptist Foundation of Texas; Richard Darden, pastor of Shining Star Fellowship in Abilene; Jerry Phillips, a business leader from Lubbock; Louise Jones, retired educator from San Angelo; Rene Collins, head of the Department of Educational Studies at HSU; Larry Wheeler, head of the Theater Department at HSU; Britt Jones, assistant vice president for advancement and director of alumni relations at HSU; Candy Noble, a community volunteer in Lucas; and Alexa Rae Gist, HSU student body president.

“Our committee has scheduled its first meetings, and it is our intention to recommend a candidate to the full board early next spring or, hopefully, sooner,” Waters said. “We will consult with the various constituencies of the university in this process and will seek, with their help and God’s leadership, to find the right person to lead Hardin-Simmons into its very bright future.”

Soliciting feedback

In addition to seeking and vetting candidate finalists for presentation to the board, the search committee also will solicit feedback from a variety of campus constituencies, formulate a candidate profile and select a national search firm. 

“I am excited about the future for the university,” Sawyer said. “I look forward to working with our board of trustees as we begin the process of entering into this new era. I am convinced our Lord will continue to richly bless Hardin-Simmons.”

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