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Lincoln University's Board of Curators took up a number of items in its meeting Thursday, including an executive search timeline, technology needs and a quarter-million-dollar purchase.

This month's meeting was the first time Interim President John Moseley sat with the board.

"We have made some courageous decisions in the last few weeks that will propel us into Lincoln University's future," Board of Curators President Victor Pasley said. "I'm personally very proud of our team and the decisions we have taken. I'm excited to welcome Dr. John Moseley as our interim president of Lincoln University, and I'm confident in his leadership abilities to help us address the immediate challenges."

Among the first items the board discussed was a timeline for its president and provost searches.

Curator Everidge Cade Jr., a member of the Executive Search Committee, said the committee met Tuesday to work on a timeline and discuss the search. Curator Stacia Bradley Brown then presented the schedule to the board.

Brown said the search committee based its plan on the last search the university conducted. Pending board approval, Brown said, the request for proposals will be released to the public and identified search firms on Monday. LU will begin reviewing search firm bids July 30 and pick the top three bids by Aug. 23, Brown said. Those three firms then will be expected to make presentations to the Board of Curators, who will decide which firm to hire at its Sept. 9 meeting. Brown said a group of applicants should be available to interview by Nov. 1.

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Approval for the request for proposals was tabled, and the board scheduled an additional meeting for Monday to discuss the item.

"In the academic world, contracts are usually signed somewhere around April to May, so if we're going to select someone, we want to notify them before that time so they don't have to break a contract with whoever they're currently working with," Brown said. "So that's why we have these dates in here to give us some wiggle room, to give us some time to make our decisions."

Technology needs discussed

Moseley discussed technology needs for the university and the possibility of receiving external funds to address them.

He said LU has just one point of entry for campus internet, which crashed three times during the spring semester. A second point of internet entry may be a priority in the near future, he said.

"We also have issues when you look at our classrooms and the technologies that are provided in our classrooms for our students," Moseley said. "We have deficiencies that hopefully we can address through this process to provide our students with the same experience they could receive if they chose to go to a different institution."

Moseley said he hopes addressing some of the university's technology needs will help with student enrollment and retention.

Curator Don Cook Sr. said LU's technology needs are affecting instruction in classrooms.

"I think we've got to look at how we fund that immediately because it's an immediate issue," Cook said. "While we've been looking at this — and I'm sure we've done some things in that area — I think maybe we need to look at what we have done and what we need to do immediately so we can address it. Technology for our students is very important in the classroom and personally."

The board on Thursday approved the purchase of a gas chromatography mass spectrometer, which analyzes biological samples for their chemical structure, costing $226,014.66. Funding for the instrument comes from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

LU currently pays another facility to analyze each sample in this fashion. The specialized instrument will be used for various faculty and student research, from biology to chemistry.

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