ASU Presidential Candidates Introduced to Public


By Ashley Thompson

Alabama State University introduced the three people vying to be the schools' next president to the public tonight in a reception held on campus. The meet and greet was an effort to let the community get to know the candidates personally.

Alabama State University has had its share of controversy this year. A preliminary audit ordered by Governor Robert Bentley showed financial mismanagement by university officials. Though candidates say the audit report doesn't phase them.

Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd was first to talk. Boyd is a native of Montgomery and credits ASU with her career success. After graduating from ASU, Boyd studied at Yale University and currently works at Johns Hopkins University in the Applied Physics Laboratory. She says she's not intimidated by the recent controversy surrounding ASU.

"I live in the Washington D.C. area so that's a daily issue on the news," she says. "So once all of these things are settled, permanent leadership will allow this to be a blimp on the radar for this university."

Retired General Samuel T. Nichols says he believes his military experience will help him lead ASU.

"It's not different than the 36, 36-plus years I've served in the military," he says. "Challenging young men and women, educating and teaching them, coaching them. So this is a natural fit for me."

State Senator Quinton Ross spoke last. He told the crowd he believes his relationship with Alabama lawmakers will help the university financially. Ross could not comment on what would happen with his Senate seat if he was selected as president but said his first order of business would be trying to restore the university's reputation.

"The university has been embattled over the past months with allegations and of course, anytime that happens to an institution like ours, the first point of business is to restore it's integrity, to restore the public trust."

The three candidates will be interviewed Friday, December 6th by the Presidential Search Committee.



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