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First, thank you to everyone who participated in the finalists visits last week. We appreciate your participation and your feedback regarding the candidates.


I wanted to provide the next steps of the search that will be occurring over the next two weeks. This week the Presidential Search Committee will meet to discuss the finalists and will review the community’s feedback on the finalists. The Search Committee will also develop its report for the Board of Trustees. As required by state law, APSU removed the confidentiality of the finalists on December 4, 2020 by releasing the finalists’ names, cover letters, and CVs to the public and cannot hold a Board meeting until 15 days thereafter. To ensure the Presidential Search Committee completes its charge and remains in compliance with the Open Meetings Act now that the finalists have been made public, I, as both the Board Chair and Search Committee Chair, will be the lone representative of the Board of Trustees at the final Search Committee Meeting. The six other trustees who are on the Search Committee are being contacted by non-trustees for their feedback and it will be shared during the final Presidential Search Committee meeting.


On December 21, 2020, at 1 p.m., a special called meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held virtually where the Board will select the next President in an open meeting. The meeting will be livestreamed at https://apsu.zoom.us/j/84984387346.


Thank you again for your continued support of the search and I appreciate all of the APSU campus and community for helping to welcome the finalists to campus. 


-Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

The University’s Presidential search committee members are very pleased to share that an outstanding group of finalists will visit the campus the week of December 7 to interview in a wide-range of settings with students, faculty, staff, University leadership, and members of the Austin Peay community.  The purposes of these visits are two-fold.  First, they will enable us to know the candidates more fully.  Second, and perhaps more importantly, the visits will allow us to acquaint the candidates further with Austin Peay, its many distinctive features, and its people. 


The search has benefitted from the efforts of a committed and engaged search committee and has been informed by thoughtful input from the University’s varied constituencies.  The committee is confident that out of this final stage in a comprehensive process will emerge a leader well qualified to serve as the next President.


The search committee is excited to announce the following candidates who will be visiting campus next week:


LicariMichael Licari. Dr. Michael (Mike) Licari is Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana (July 2015 to present). He oversees all academic functions of the university, as well as enrollment management and university marketing. This includes 34 academic departments housed in 5 colleges: Arts & Sciences, Health & Human Services, Scott College of Business, Bayh College of Education, and the College of Technology. Also reporting to Dr. Licari are: the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, the Center for Global Engagement, Cunningham Memorial Library, the University College and First Year Programs, Extended (Online) Learning, University Honors College, Institutional Research, Inclusive Excellence and Title IX, and campus-wide Information Technology.


Dr. Licari has long been committed to serving the community and has provided leadership to a number of organizations. He currently serves as President of the board for the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (serving and Vice President previously) and on the board of the Terre Haute Rotary Club. He is a past president of the Terre Haute Symphony board of directors, has served on the executive board of the Crossroads of America Boy Scout council for the state of Indiana, and has served in a variety of capacities in support of local K-12 schools. He has also provided many years of service as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout unit leader (Cubmaster and Scoutmaster).


Dr. Licari earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a focus on Public Administration in 1997, a Masters of Arts in Political Science, also from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in 1994, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Minnesota in 1993. His wife Kirsten is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where the two of them met as members of the marching band. She currently serves on the board, and is immediate past president, of the Terre Haute Newcomers and Friends, and has launched or chaired a number of its interest groups. Kirsten is also active in 100+ Women Who Care, (a philanthropic group in Vigo county), community book clubs, and Indiana State University’s Lifelong Learning Institute. She has also volunteered at and helped raised money for local K-12 schools and provided many years of leadership for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, including serving on the staff for the Boy Scout National Jamboree. Mike and Kirsten have one son, Daniel, who is a senior Biology major at Indiana State University. Upon graduation in May 2021, Daniel intends to go on to graduate school for Genetics and Genetic Counseling.


Mike will visit campus on Tuesday, December 8 and Wednesday, December 9, 2020.


TaylorJaime Taylor. Dr. Jaime Taylor serves as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Marshall University. After earning both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering Science at University of Tennessee Space Institute, Taylor began his academic career at Austin Peay State University (APSU) in the Department of Physics. Taylor spent four summers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center as a NASA Faculty Fellow with a focus on applications of soft computing. At APSU, he served as Physics Department Chair, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, and interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Taylor gains his greatest satisfaction from working with others to create an environment that not only helps students to achieve their dreams, but also encourages them to have big dreams to achieve. Taylor's wife, Stacy, holds a degree in computer science from APSU and formerly worked at Montgomery County’s Office of Information Technology. They have two adult children, Makenzie and Jordan.


Jaime will visit campus on Wednesday, December 9 and Thursday, December 10, 2020.


WhitesideDannelle Whiteside: Dannelle Whiteside currently serves as interim president of Austin Peay State University. Her appointment by the APSU Board of Trustees makes her the first Black president of the more than 90-year-old institution. Whiteside originally joined the University in 2017 as Austin Peay’s general counsel. In the spring of 2019, she was named vice president for Legal Affairs. During her career at Austin Peay, she has also served as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. She is also adjunct faculty at Belmont University College of Law in Nashville, TN. Prior to her time at APSU, Whiteside served as General Attorney for the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, General Counsel for the Tennessee State Board of Education and District Policy Advisor for Metro Nashville Public Schools.


She was recently named to the 2020 class of the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). In 2019, Whiteside was named to the inaugural cohort of the Tennessee Higher Education Leadership and Innovation Fellows program. Whiteside has been named a Nashville Emerging Leader in the Education category by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and a Nation’s Best Advocate: 40 Lawyers Under 40 by the National Bar Association. Whiteside received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, with honors and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Whiteside is married to her husband Sean, a customer relations team lead at AT&T, and they are parents of an active two-year-old son, Donovan.


Dannelle will visit campus on Thursday, December 10 and Friday, December 11, 2020.


The candidates’ curriculum vitae and cover letter can be found in the open forum section.


The open forum schedule for the visits can be found on the website at: https://apsu.edu/executive-search/presidential.php.


For those attending the events in person, you will need to comply with the University’s COVID guidelines, including wearing a mask while inside university buildings and affirming you are not experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to the virus. For those who are attending in person, seating will be available on a first come, first serve basis. All of the open forums will be hosted on Zoom.


Please join us in extending the candidates a warm Austin Peay welcome.  Thank you.


-Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

First, and most importantly, we hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy in these unprecedented times.


Today I am pleased to share that the search for the University’s next President is progressing well and as planned.


The Presidential Search Committee recently met with several distinguished candidates for confidential, preliminary interviews. The committee then chose to advance a smaller, select group of those outstanding candidates for a second stage of in-depth interviewing.


Those interviews will take place in the next few weeks and will be accompanied by referencing conversations with colleagues who know the candidates well. We will name the finalists soon, and you will have an opportunity to meet with them. Until then, we thank you for your continued support.


-Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am pleased to report that the search for the University’s next President is progressing well and on schedule. The search committee recently met and continued its multi-stage vetting process to identify candidates whose backgrounds and experiences seem especially consistent with the qualities and qualifications established for the search. At this gathering, the search committee considered the applications of a talented and diverse pool of seasoned leaders from across the country and chose to advance a select group for confidential preliminary interviews. 


The committee will meet over the next two weeks to interview these leading candidates. After the interviews, the committee will identify a smaller number of semi-finalists for initial reference checking and a second-round of conversations. 


I will continue to keep you apprised of the committee’s progress and thank you for your continued support.


-Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

I hope this update regarding our shared efforts to identify the University’s eleventh president finds you and those important to you healthy and well.


We would like to thank all of you who participated in conversations with our consultants Julie Tea and Brian Bustin of Storbeck Search & Associates recently. Your thoughtful comments provided the basis for the creation of the position profile, a valuable tool that will be used to solicit nominations and recruit candidates nationally. We invite you to review the finalized copy which is available on Austin Peay State University's website and at Storbeck Search & Associates' site.


As you review the search profile, please pay particular attention to the skill sets and attributes most highly sought in our new President. We urge you to suggest people you know who could serve effectively in this critically important position, or those you think might know of potential candidates. Please forward their names to Julie Tea and Brian Bustin at APSUpresident@storbecksearch.com.


Our committee is well aware that the success of our search depends on the involvement of all members of the Austin Peay community. Please rest assured that names and information will be treated with full confidentiality.


Over the next several weeks, we will generate a national candidate pool through nominations received from you and others, inquiries at other colleges and universities similar to Austin Peay in scope and mission, advertising in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed and on a number of other relevant websites, and the work of our search firm. In late fall, the search committee will begin to narrow the candidate pool.


The search is off to a good start. I will write to you again as we enter subsequent stages of the process. Thank you for your support.


-Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Trustees


September forums to gather input


Consultants Julie Tea and Brian Bustin from the executive search firm Storbeck Search & Associates are currently meeting with constituents across the Austin Peay community to conduct an important pre-search study. They are seeking thoughts from all constituents about Austin Peay’s future and our community’s expectations for the next President. These meetings will include the following:


1st Open Meeting for Staff
Thursday, September 3, 2020
10:00-10:45 a.m. CT


Open Meeting for APSU Community – All are welcome.
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
12:00-12:45 p.m. CT


2nd Open Meeting for Staff
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
2:00-2:45 p.m. CT


1st Open Meeting for Faculty
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
3:00-3:45 p.m. CT


Open Meeting for Students
Thursday, September 10, 2020
12:00-12:45 p.m. CT


2nd Open Meeting for Faculty
Thursday, September 10, 2020
2:00-2:45 p.m. CT


Input from the entire Austin Peay community is essential at this early stage of the search. We truly want to learn your thoughts about the University’s priorities and the qualities, skills, and experiences you will be seeking in the next president.


Stakeholder Survey


In addition to participating in these open forms, students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of the University are encouraged to take a few minutes to complete the confidential Stakeholder Survey, found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/APSUPresidentialSearch.


Kindly complete the survey by Sunday, September 13. The survey results will be gathered by the search firm and shared with the search committee members.


The consultants and members of the University’s marketing and communication team are in the early stages of developing the search profile, an important document that will describe the University as well as the leadership agenda for the next president. Feedback from the open meetings as well as the stakeholder survey will provide crucial content for the document. The search profile will be an important recruitment tool as we move forward with the search, and a copy will be shared with the Austin Peay community as we embark on our recruitment efforts later this month.


Lastly, we urge you to suggest people you know who could serve effectively in this critically important position, or those you think might know of potential candidates. Please share your suggestions via the survey or forward any names to our consultants at APSUpresident@storbecksearch.com


Thank you for your ongoing support and participation in the search process. At any time during the search, please feel free to contact me at trustees@apsu.edu with questions. I would welcome hearing from you.


-Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Board of Trustees

As you know, plans are underway for the launch of Austin Peay State University’s presidential search. The University has partnered with Storbeck Search & Associates, a nationally recognized search firm serving higher education, on the search. Representatives from the firm – Partner Julie Tea and Senior Associate Brian Bustin – will hold virtual meetings over the next few weeks with members of the University community to learn your thoughts on Austin Peay’s needs and aspirations. In addition to these meetings, there will be an open forum, and all are welcome to attend. We are currently coordinating the schedule for these meetings, and separate details will be shared shortly.


When meeting with the consulting team, please be prepared to share your thoughts on these three key questions:

1) What are the points of attraction for the position? What makes Austin Peay distinctive?

2) What challenges and opportunities will the next president need to address?

3) What background, skill sets, and personal attributes will the candidate of choice likely possess?


We look forward to your participation in this important first phase of the presidential search process. Thank you for your interest and support.


Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

I hope this note finds you and yours healthy and well. This is the first of many updates to be shared with you as Austin Peay State University endeavors to identify its 11th president and a worthy successor to Dr. Alisa White.


An inclusive Presidential Search Committee composed of 23 members has been established, representing the University’s multiple constituencies. The committee includes representatives of the faculty, staff, student body, alumni/ae community, civic leadership, and the Board of Trustees. The members include:


Mr. Michael (Mike) O’Malley, Chair
APSU Board of Trustees Chairman


Mr. Billy Atkins, Vice Chair
APSU Board of Trustees


Ms. Katherine Cannata
APSU Board of Trustees Vice Chair


Ms. Abbey Hogan
APSU Board of Trustees Student Trustee


Ms. Keri McInnis
APSU Board of Trustees
APSU Alumna 1995


Brig. Gen. Robin Mealer
APSU Board of Trustees
APSU Alumna 2000


Dr. Mickey Wadia
APSU Board of Trustees Faculty Trustee


Ms. Elaine Berg
Faculty Representative
Professor of Library Sciences


Dr. Harold Young
Faculty Representative
Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Management


Mr. Kito Aruh
Student Representative
President, Student Government Association


Ms. Hannah Allen
Staff Representative
Senior Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Finance and Administration
APSU Alumna 2018


Ms. Vanessya Fountain
Staff Representative
Administrative Assistant to the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
APSU Alumna 2002


Ms. Megan Mitchell
Staff Representative
Staff Senate President
Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
APSU Alumna 2014


Mr. Gerald Harrison
Administrative Representative
Director of Athletics


Dr. Kristine Nakutis
Administrative Representative
Executive Director of Austin Peay Center at Fort Campbell


Mr. Kris Phillips
Administrative Representative
Assistant Vice President for University Advancement and Alumni Relations
APSU Alumnus 1991


Mr. Mike Krause
Alumni Representative
Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission
APSU Alumnus 2007


Mr. Joe Shakeenab
Alumni Representative
National Alumni Association President
APSU Alumnus 2004


Mr. Jim Durrett
Community Leader Representative
Mayor of Montgomery County


Mr. Joe Pitts
Community Leader Representative
Mayor of the City of Clarksville
APSU Alumnus 1980


Mr. Jeff Bibb
Community-At-Large Representative
Owner of JV Bibb – Consulting/PR
APSU Alumnus 1976


Mr. Joe Maynard
Community-At-Large Representative
CEO and Majority Owner, Echo Power Engineering


Ms. Khandra Smalley
Community-At-Large Representative
Senior Vice President of Marketing Research, F&M Bank
APSU Alumna 2005


Finding just the right leadership to guide the University in the years to come is a significant responsibility. We are grateful for the willingness these committee members have demonstrated to give of their time and insights to this important process.


Storbeck Search & Associates, a nationally known and highly respected search firm, part of the Diversified Search Group, is assisting the University in the search. Julie E. Tea, Partner, and Brian Bustin, Senior Associate, are facilitating the search process, working with the search committee to identify candidates, and assisting the committee in making its recommendations to the Board of Trustees. Julie knows the APSU community well, having recently assisted us with the provost search that brought Dr. Maria Cronley to our campus.


Upcoming survey to gather community input

Input from the entire Austin Peay community is essential at this early stage of the search. We want to learn your thoughts about the University’s priorities and the qualities, skills, and experiences you will be seeking in the next president. In late August, students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends of the University will receive an email survey seeking input. Please take a few minutes to complete the confidential survey when you receive it.


Campus forums to gather community input

Look for email communications soon about campus forums regarding the presidential search. Our consultants will meet virtually with University constituents, community members, and friends of APSU. They will be seeking thoughts and input about APSU’s future and our community’s expectations for the next president.


After gathering information from the campus, the consulting team, in conjunction with the search committee, will create the search prospectus, an important document that will describe the University, as well as the leadership agenda for the next president. This profile will be an important recruitment tool as we move forward with the search.


Thank you in advance for your support and participation in the search process. We will update you in the coming weeks regarding the open forums. At any time, please feel free to contact me at trustees@apsu.edu with questions related to the presidential search. I would welcome hearing from you. Thank you.


Mike O'Malley, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee