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CSU provost finalist for West Virginia job

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Less than three months after Clayton State University announced its president was leaving to accept a similar position at a college in Wisconsin, the Morrow-based school may also lose its chief academic officer.

The presidential search committee for Fairmont, W.Va.-based Fairmont State University announced Tuesday that Clayton State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Sharon Hoffman is one of three finalists for Fairmont State's presidency.

The other finalists are Charles Harrington, the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and Thomas Krepel, an assistant to the president at Northern Illinois University.

The search is being conducted to replace former President Dan Bradley, who left Fairmont State last year to take a similar position at Indiana State University.

"We are extremely excited in regards to the quality of the three finalists that we have selected," Fairmont State Presidential Search Committee Chairman Andy Kniceley said in a written statement. "Any one of which is more than capable to lead Fairmont State University to greater excellence."

Hoffman will meet with Fairmont State faculty, staff, students and its Board of Governors March 24, during a series of forums on the Fairmont, W.Va. campus. The search committee said, in a statement, it will make a recommendation to Fairmont State's Board of Governors on the morning of March 27.

The board will vote on the recommendation two hours after the committee makes its decision. The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission will take a vote at a later date as final approval of the next president's contract, according to the committee's statement.

Hoffman has been Clayton State's provost since 2002, and has overseen the development and implementation of 20 new undergraduate majors, and the establishment of the university's graduate school since her arrival, according to her resume. The resume also said she served on several academic tasks forces for the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents.

From 1976 to 2002, Hoffman served in administrative and teaching positions at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minn.; the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in San Antonio, Texas; the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, S.C.; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Spalding University in Louisville, Ky.

She holds a bachelor's degree from California State University-Los Angeles, master's degrees from the University of Minnesota and Duke University, and a doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota.

The announcement that Hoffman is a finalist for the Fairmont State presidency comes as Clayton State is preparing for its own leadership transition. In January, the University of Wisconsin System's Board of Regents appointed Clayton State President Thomas K. Harden as the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The University System of Georgia's Board of Regents has appointed University of West Georgia Provost Thomas Hynes to become Clayton State's interim president when Harden leaves in June.

Hoffman and representatives of the Atlanta-based Parker Executive Search Firm, which helped the Fairmont State Presidential Search Committee review candidates, could not be reached for comment.