Campus Committee Selects Four Candidates for Columbus State University President


COLUMBUS Ga. --- Columbus State University’s Presidential Search and Screening Committee has selected four candidates to send to the Board of Regents for consideration as CSU’s fifth president.

The candidates are:

Randy Hanna, former chancellor, Florida College System. Dr. Hanna has a law degree from Florida State University and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. He was chancellor of the Florida College System and Division of Florida Colleges from 2011 to 2015. He has been a college professor, college board member, trustee for various educational and state organizations and an attorney for a Tallahassee law firm, the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and U.S. Senator Bob Graham.

Chris Markwood, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Markwood has a doctorate in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has served at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi since 2011. Before that, he was at the University of Wisconsin-Superior for five years, serving as interim chancellor and vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculties. He’s also served and taught at the University of Central Oklahoma and Lamar University in Texas.

Carl Stockton, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Texas. Dr. Stockton has a doctorate in health education from the University of Tennessee. He has been in his current role at the University of Houston-Clear Lake since 2007. Before that, he was a dean at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He has also served and taught at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Radford University in Virginia.

Jose-Marie Griffiths, vice president for Academic Affairs, Bryant University, Rhode Island. Dr. Griffiths earned her doctorate in information science from University College London. She’s been at Bryant University since 2010. Before that, she was a dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s also taught and/or served at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Michigan, the University of Tennessee, The Catholic University of America and the University of California, Berkeley.

These candidates were selected from the five who visited campus earlier this month. Each spent an exhaustive day and a half on campus, meeting with a wide variety of campus groups and individuals and hosting two open forums.

There was support for each of the finalists from the 17-member local screening committee as well as from throughout campus, based on 325 feedback surveys submitted, said John Finley, associate professor of business administration and screening committee chair.

“These four candidates prevailed in the committee’s deliberation this morning,” Finley said.

“On balance, the committee was impressed by the caliber of these candidates and the diversity of backgrounds they brought to the process. The consensus is that any of these candidates will be able to build on the momentum we have going here at Columbus State.”

Finley said the screening committee members should get a lot of credit for the time and effort they put into the process. Dominated by faculty members, the committee also included a student, a staff member, alumni and CSU Foundation Board of Trustee members.

“These folks obviously care deeply about Columbus State University and put in countless numbers of hours into the search and selection process,” Finley said. “CSU is lucky to count each of them as a supporter, and I am proud to have worked with such a dedicated and hard-working group. We also highly appreciate the thorough participation and involvement by the CSU community.”

The process for selecting CSU’s next president now shifts to the University System of Georgia (USG) in Atlanta, where a regents search committee will review the candidates and make a final selection with USG Chancellor Hank Huckaby. That decision is expected about mid-April.

The Special Regents’ Search Committee consists of:

Regent C. Thomas Hopkins Jr. (chair of the Special Regents’ Search Committee)
Regent Neil L. Pruitt Jr. (chair of the Board of Regents)
Regent Donald M. Leebern Jr.
Regent Sachin Shailendra
Regent Kessel D. Stelling Jr.
Regent Larry Walker
Regent Philip Wilheit

The Presidential Search and Screening Committee included:

Dr. John Finley, associate professor of business administration, executive officer faculty senate and committee chair
Dr. Kevin Burgess, associate professor of biology
Dr. Clarence "Earl" Coleman, professor of music
Dr. Courtney George, assistant professor of English
Dr. Tim Howard, professor of mathematics
Dr. Stuart Rayfield, associate professor and director of the CSU Servant Leadership Program
Dr. Michael Richardson, professor and director of the education doctorate program
Dr. Ekaterina Strekalova, assistant professor of early childhood education
Dr. Aimee Vael, associate professor, School of Nursing
Amber Dees, assistant director of the public administration program and president Staff Council
Rachel Green, president of the Student Government Association
Richard L. Holmes, alumni and CSU Foundation Board of Trustees
Nancy Buntin, Columbus community member and CSU Foundation Board of Trustees
Dr. John Wesley Lee, Ear, Nose, Throat and Sinus Surgery Center
Tony Link, CSU Foundation Board of Trustees Chair
Marc Olivié, President and CEO of WC Bradley Company and CSU Foundation Board of Trustees
Jimmy Yancey, Columbus community member and CSU Foundation Board of Trustees