Presidential candidates to visit UM next week

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Three candidates for the University of Montevallo presidency have been invited to visit the campus next week.

They are Dr. Janet McNew, provost and dean of the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University; Dr. John Miller, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Oregon University; and Dr. W. Sanborn Pfeiffer, provost and vice president for academic affairs and interim CIO at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Members of the university community and other constituents will have an opportunity to meet Dr. Miller on

Monday, Feb. 20; Dr. Pfeiffer on Thursday,; Feb. 23; and Dr. McNew on Monday, Feb. 27.

On each of the three visits, the Faculty Senate will meet with the candidates from 11-11:45 a.m. in the Merrill Room of Reynolds Hall.

Meetings with faculty members will be held from 1:15-2:45 p.m. in Merchants and Planters Auditorium in Comer Hall. Office support personnel, the physical plant staff and professional staff members will meet with the candidates from 3-4 p.m. in the auditorium.

Announcement of the candidates invited for campus visits was made by trustee George Walker, chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, at a meeting of the Board of Trustees last Friday.

The three candidates were selected from a pool of 89 applicants, Walker said.

Dr. McNew, who was acting president of Illinois Wesleyan in 2003-04, joined IWU in 1993. In addition to her administrative duties, she has taught courses in the English department and in the Gateway Colloquium.

McNew was instrumental in bringing a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa to the campus and also in the development and implementation of the school&8217;s current curriculum, which features the distinctive May term.

A 1973 Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of North Carolina, she earned her master&8217;s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia where she taught English courses and was an administrative fellow in the office of president John Casteen.

From 1979 to 1993, she was professor of English at St. John&8217;s University in Collegeville, Minn., and chaired the joint St. John&8217;s University/College of Saint Benedict Department of English. At St. John&8217;s, she also directed the British Studies Program in London and the Irish Studies Program in Galway and led the Freshman Colloquium Program.

Dr. McNew is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar Fellowship. She is a member of the Modern Language Association and Phi Beta Kappa, and she serves as a consultant for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Dr. Miller has been provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Oregon University since July 2002. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Dr. Miller, who received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in sociology at the University of Oregon, served as dean at Southeastern Louisiana from 1993 until his appointment at EOU.

From 1991 until 1998, he edited the Journal of Applied Sociology. His publication work has focused on alternative dispute resolution, management of water resources, teaching sociology and environmental public policy issues.

He traveled to Germany as a Fulbright Scholar in 1990. His current interests include exploring methods of enhancing student learning through service-learning, international education, the development of learning communities and undergraduate research opportunities.

Dr. Pfeiffer became Ramapo College&8217;s founding provost/vice president for academic affairs in July 2003. He served as Ramapo&8217;s interim president from July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005.

Before coming to Ramapo, Dr. Pfeiffer served as vice president for academic affairs at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga.

In addition, while at Southern Polytechnic, he held positions as acting associate vice president for academic affairs, associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and department head for humanities and technical communication. Prior to his work at SPSU, he was an assistant professor of English at the University of Houston Downtown College and at Southwest Texas State University.

His research in technical and professional communication and in the Japanese culture has yielded numerous publications and presentations, including several communication textbooks currently in print and various articles on Japanese culture.

Dr. Pfeiffer earned his bachelor&8217;s degree in English from Amherst College, and his master&8217;s and doctoral degrees in English from Kent State University.

The Trustees are expected to select UM&8217;s new president in early March.

Dr. Robert M. McChesney, the university&8217;s 13th president, plans to retire in August after 14 years of service