FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 1, 2011
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
Campus Search Advisory Committee members say Borsig stood out as candidate
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Dr. Jim Borsig emerged as the best candidate to lead Mississippi University for Women following an exhaustive presidential search process.
The 20-step search process included feedback from stakeholders through Campus Listening Sessions held in August, where the qualities and qualifications that the next institutional executive officer should possess were discussed.
Weighing in on those discussions were members of the Campus Search Advisory Committee (CSAC), who believe Dr. Borsig’s experience in higher education, government and the private sector made him the perfect choice for MUW.
“This opportunity to serve on the Campus Search Advisory Committee has increased my respect for the process and for the dedication of the board members and advisory committee members,” said Dr. Sue Jolly-Smith, chair of the committee. “The Campus Search Interview Advisory Committee unanimously supported the board’s choice of Dr. Borsig as the preferred candidate. It will be a privilege to work under his leadership.”
As part of the search process, the CSAC self-selected a representative group of members, comprised of faculty, students, staff and outside representatives, diverse in race and gender, to serve on the Interview Search Advisory Committee.
Nora Miller, MUW vice president for finance and administration, said, “I think the board’s search process yielded us some excellent applicants, and having gone through the full process, I am confident that the best applicant has been selected as our preferred candidate.”
She added, “The Board Search Committee, and other board members who met with us, really focused on what they heard from the various constituencies during the listening sessions, and they were very interested in what the Interview Search Advisory Committee had to say about interviews.”
Bobby Harper, Renasant Bank senior vice president and business development officer, said, “There was no shortage of interest in the job. Several highly qualified candidates expressed sincere interest in being the next president of MUW, but over the course of two rounds of interviews with the finalists, Dr. Borsig stood out as the candidate to lead MUW at this point in time. His current position has given him the unique advantage of knowing and understanding The W’s strengths and challenges. I am convinced Dr. Borsig is an excellent choice.”
Faculty members who served on the committee included Dr. Mark Bean, Department of Health and Kinesiology; Faculty Senate President Dr. Gloria Bunnell; Dr. Dionne Fortenberry, Department of Sciences and Mathematics; Dr. Kimberly Taylor-Gathings, Department of Education and Cathy Young, general libraries.
Taylor-Gathings said, “The presidential search process at Mississippi University for Women went well. The faculty, staff, students and community were all involved in the process and therefore aided in the process of choosing the best candidate for the position.”
Leander Williams Jr., who currently serves as Student Government Association president, said, “The overall experience has been rewarding. To be afforded the opportunity to interview potential candidates that could move this institution forward was indeed phenomenal. We are in need for a proactive, visionary leader, and I’m confident that we have chosen the best candidate.”
Staff members who were a part of the process included Dr. Phillip Cockrell, director of student life, and Jessica Harpole, coordinator of leadership and service.
Cockrell said, “Serving as a member of the CSAC was truly an honor. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the Board of Trustees. I appreciated the board’s willingness to listen to the CSAC feedback about the qualities our MUW family wanted in a president. I believe Dr. Borsig will be an asset to MUW because of his knowledge and understanding of the uniqueness of MUW. He exemplifies the passion to ensure MUW remains a viable institution that is committed to educating some of Mississippi’s brightest and finest students.”
Harpole stated, “It has been an honor to represent the MUW family on the Campus Search Advisory Committee. Using the campus and community feedback to work with the search firm and the Board of Trustees to find the best presidential for MUW has been a positive experience.”
MUW alumni and foundation participants echoed similar thoughts of fellow committee members.
Andrea Overby said, “The search for a new president of MUW attracted many qualified candidates. I was impressed with their credentials and grateful for their interest. I think we have seen that MUW is a unique small university which is viewed by many as having a special niche in the education of Mississippi’s young people. The future is bright for The W, and I believe all constituencies are excited about many good things to come.”
Emily Myers Garner added, "I am honored to have been asked to review the potential candidates for the presidency of Mississippi University for Women. I trust that the interview advisory committee and the IHL thoroughly evaluated the top applicants and selected a preferred candidate that would best serve this historic university at the present time. I look forward to meeting with Dr. Borsig to further strengthen our stellar academic reputation and lead us into a bright future."
Ruth Jones said, “Probably the most interesting feature of the search was that members of the CSAC were unanimously committed to finding a leader who is enthusiastic, energetic and engaging; someone who has both executive and educational leadership experience. Obviously, we wanted someone who can make MUW the best it can be. Dr. Borsig emerged as the best candidate, and I’m very happy to welcome him to our university.”
Brandon Newsome, a recent graduate, added, “I believe there were great candidates in the running to be the next university president. However, I must say that I am excited that Dr. Borsig was selected. Having worked with him with the Student Body Presidents Council, I know firsthand he is great leader.”
From the community perspective, Alma Turner said she thought the process went well. “I was very pleased with the involvement of the community. It gave stakeholders the opportunity to provide input.”
Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Columbus Lowndes Development Link, said, “I was very pleased to be a part of the MUW search process. Parker Search did a great job of getting qualified applicants for our team to consider and I believe will have concluded the search with a first class candidate for a first class university.”
Other committee members included Renee Flynt, Kathy Dyess and Jenna McMurphy.