West Liberty, W.Va. (WTRF)- West Liberty University is reopening the search for its next leader.
“Due to the decision by one of our two finalists to withdraw from the Presidential Search process at the last minute, we feel that it is best to extend the search and reopen it on a national level today,” said Rich Lucas, chairman of WLU’s Board of Governors and chair of the 2020 Presidential Search Committee.
The surprise decision by one of the two final candidates, Dr. Robert Colvin, to withdraw came about on Wednesday, Aug. 26, prior to a scheduled meeting of the Board of Governors.
“This was a decision that we didn’t anticipate,” said Lucas. Colvin had just visited campus on Tuesday and completed his official interview with faculty, staff, students and the committee.
“All Board of Governors agreed that it was best to reopen the search and a new timeline will be announced soon.”
In the meantime, Dr. Stephen Greiner has agreed to stay on as president until Thanksgiving, Nov. 26. The last official day of class is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 24 due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Final exams will be online and are scheduled for Nov. 28 – Dec. 4, allowing students to remain at home after Thanksgiving break.
President Greiner announced his anticipated June 30, 2020 retirement in November 2019 but stayed on due to COVID-19 and the March 2020 delay of the search due to the pandemic.
“I am more than grateful that President Greiner has agreed, yet again, to delay his much-deserved retirement. Once again, he has placed West Liberty University, our students, faculty and staff above his own personal plans. Leading the university during a pandemic is an unprecedented accomplishment in our 183 years of existence and he has done so with a calm, steady hand. The Board of Governors and I thank him so much,” said Lucas.
West Liberty University began its fall academic semester on Aug. 15 and is conducting classes in-seat, online, and in a mixed or hybrid fashion, due to the pandemic.