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story.lead_photo.caption This Feb. 5, 2015, file photo shows a student crossing the pedestrian bridge near Page Library on the Lincoln University campus. Photo by News Tribune / News Tribune.

Lincoln University's new president, whoever it will be, will inherit a relatively fresh administration that they will help select.

The Lincoln University administration consists of 11 internal positions, one of which is currently vacant, three are filled by interim appointments and two with departing staff.

As the university starts to wind down its search for its next president, Curator Everidge Cade, chairman of the search committee, said he is expecting the new leader to play a role in selecting the people who would make up the university administration.

"We're going to try to find somebody, and that's going to be done with the input of the new president," Cade said. "I'm not big on giving the president or anybody that runs an organization his team to work with. He needs to be involved extensively."

The position of university president has been filled by John Moseley on an interim basis since May, when former president Jerald Jones Woolfolk announced her resignation.

The LU Board of Curators is engaged in a national search to identify candidates for president and hired independent search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates in September to assist with the search.

Cade said the search committee is moving at a fast pace and will work through the university's holiday breaks.

On Tuesday, the board's search committee will begin reviewing applicants, Cade said. They hope to have a candidate selected sometime in February.

Cade said the new president should be involved in subsequent hiring decisions because the people selected will be working with each other daily to implement the university's agenda.

"I just want everybody to have his team or her team," Cade said. "Not a team that I picked for them."

As the university selects new leadership and a president, Moseley, a candidate for university president, said there's a chance for that individual to surround himself or herself with others who share a common vision.

The national search and help from Greenwood/Asher also includes a search for a vice president for academic affairs and provost, a position Jennifer Benne holds on an interim basis.

The search committee has started the process to attract candidates for the position, but Cade said Lincoln won't make a decision until the new president is selected.

"I've got to get the president's nod that they're comfortable with the VP/provost," he said.

Benne will continue to serve as interim in the meantime.

The administration has another interim in the dean of enrollment management position, which is currently held by Darius Watson.

Cade said the enrollment manager position also won't be filled without the new president's input.

He said without the top leadership positions filled, there would be a lack of stability and it would be hard to attract candidates to some of the other administrative positions.

"Their input and their opinion will, basically, carry a lot of weight," Cade said.

The university's growing need for upper administration is compounded by a couple of recent departure announcements.

Last month, Misty Nunn, director of marketing and university relations, announced she was leaving Lincoln for a job with the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

Nunn, who had been with Lincoln for 16 years, leaves the university at the end of November.

Sandy Koetting, vice president for administration and finance, recently announced she would be retiring from the university at the end of June 2022.

Koetting, who has 31 years with the university, said the president and Board of Curators are working to find her replacement before she departs.

Like the current interim positions, the two departures won't be replaced until the new president is selected around February.

"We should, in February, be able to identify a permanent president and then, along with the curators and that president, we'll start identifying these key positions," Cade said.

In the meantime, Nunn's work has been divided among university staff and Koetting's replacement should be found before she leaves next year.

Cade said Nunn and Koetting are also leaving the university on good terms and have committed to remaining available to answer questions and provide assistance after they leave.

In addition to those four positions, the next university president will have a hand in selecting the university's human resources director, a position that is currently empty.

Moseley said many of the open positions at Lincoln are critical for the regular functions of the university. Even lower level administrative jobs — like director of financial aid and director of purchasing — are critical roles that remain open, he said.

Cade said it's unclear right now if the university would hire another search firm and conduct a national search to fill the other administrative positions. He said it's a conversation he wants to have with the new president and other curators.

Cade said he wants the transition process to be as seamless as possible to ensure all parties are on the same page with what the university needs to accomplish.

Moseley said he's hopeful the work he has overseen for the past six months has been well received by the campus community.

"A lot of people have worked extremely hard during a very uncertain time for the university because of the number of transitions we've had in the administration over the past five years," Moseley said. "So I do feel that, and I hope that the university is able to just get stable leadership. I think that's going to be good for our students, faculty and staff."

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