By Alma Linda Manzanares and Emily Rodriguez
The Texas A&M University System hired a higher education consulting firm to conduct a national search to fill a vacancy for the second university president of A&M-San Antonio.
AGB Search, headquartered in Washington D.C. specializes in finding candidates to fill executive positions within higher education, including system chancellors, university presidents, provosts, vice presidents and deans. A full advertisement posted Monday invites applications and nominations for the position at this university which will begin January 2015.
In addition to this university, the company will administer the search for the president of Our Lady of the Lake University, a Catholic comprehensive liberal arts and sciences university also located in San Antonio.
A&M-SA’s advertisement lists Dr. Robert Lawless, AGB search consultant, as a point of contact. According to his bio, Lawless served on the faculty of A&M University, held administrative positions at the University of Houston and served as president at Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and The University of Tulsa.
Lawless began his visit to the campus today where he met with about 40 people, including students, faculty and administration.
In a phone interview earlier this evening, Lawless said he hopes to gain a “general impression (of the university) from people who are there, what they believe the next president should bring and what background they should have.”
“There’s excitement about the future,” he said. “The potential is unlimited.”
Faculty received an invitation from the office of the provost to speak to Lawless during his campus visit Friday at 9:45 a.m. in Room 333 of the Central Academic Building.
President Maria Hernandez Ferrier announced her plan Sept. 5 to step down as president of A&M-San Antonio to accept a new role within the System as the director of development and Mexico relations. She will assume her new role January 2015.
According to a Sept. 19 press release, the System assembled a nine member presidential search advisory committee to help identify, screen and recommend three potential candidates to the Board of Regents by December 2014.
System Regent Elaine Mendoza will chair the committee. Other members include Regent Charles Schwartz, community leaders within the city and university administration.
The press release lists the remaining members as Roger Campos, Ramiro Cavazos, Evangelina Flores, Joe Garcia, Eric Lopez, Henry Munoz, and Josephine Sosa-Fey.
The new president leads the institution’s pursuit of implementing downward expansion to become a four-year university, and the addition of doctoral programs.
A full prospectus includes documentation on the position’s requirements, demographics of the city and campus, and expectations and goals for the new president.