Wendler could be offered job today

By Gus Bode

SIUC chancellor one of four vying for Corpus Christi’s president opening

Texas A&M University officials expect its Board of Regents to name a new president today for its Corpus Christi campus, and SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler is one of four finalists still vying for the position.

SIUC spokeswoman Sue Davis confirmed that Wendler traveled to Corpus Christi, Texas, Tuesday to conduct a final round of interviews with the university’s Board of Regents. The board, which acts in the same capacity as SIU’s Board of Trustees, is the final step in the interviewing process.

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Davis said Wendler is expected to return to SIUC Thursday.

The candidates endured rounds of interviews, committee meetings and open discussions Tuesday as the Regents worked to make their final decision.

If Wendler is offered the position and chooses to accept, Davis said the SIU President’s office will quickly name an interim chancellor and begin forming a national search.

Wendler first interviewed at the campus, which is located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, on Nov. 22. He was one of five candidates recommended by the university’s search committee, which includes faculty, administrators, deans, a student representative and two members of the Board of Regents. That list was then narrowed to four by the Board of Regents.

A simple majority of the five-member Board of Regents is needed to approve or deny a candidate for the position.

Ann Kellett, senior communications specialist for Texas A&M University, said it is typical for members of the board to be on these committees.

“Our regents do like to stay very involved in the process, especially when it involves a position such as a president,” Kellett said. “But typically, by the time it gets to that point, there is a consensus behind one person.”

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Once the board announces its decision, there is a 21-day waiting period before it becomes official. Kellett said that time can allow the board to continue learning about its chosen candidate, in case any discrepancies would arise.

“It’s a safeguard for ensuring extra review, so that the process is not rushed,” Kellett said.

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