Students Voice Opinions for Next SHSU President

Elizabeth Machuca

Students gathered in the Lowman Student Center Orange Ballroom on Feb. 27 to be a part of the Presidential Search Forum after President Dana Hoyt announced her decision to step down in August earlier this month. This forum gave students an opportunity to express what qualifications and attributes they believe the next president should possess.

Texas State University System Vice Chancellor for Academic and Health Affairs John Hayek encouraged feedback as he provided information concerning the process and how input plays a significant part in it.

“One of the charges that we have in the system administration is when we have a vacancy or a retirement of our presidents at one of our institutions, we get the pleasure of trying to find a new president for the institution,” Hayek said. “It’s probably the most important job that our board in the system administration has is thinking with the leaders of our campuses. Part of that process is going out and reaching out to folks in the campus community.”

Hayek expressed that the process was straight-forward and would take between five to six months to hire a new president.

Throughout the process, an Advisory Search Committee will collaborate with the executive search firm Academic Search to recruit qualified candidates. The Advisory Search Committee will be composed of key community members, staff, faculty and student representatives.

Finalists will be invited to Sam Houston State University to visit stakeholders, interact with the growing campus and be interviewed by Chancellor Brian McCall. McCall will then choose the sole finalist, recommending them to the Texas State University System Board of Regents for approval.

President and Senior Consultant of Academic Search, L. Jay Lemons, joined Hayek in strengthening encouragement for input.

“The most critical and informative way that you can be participants in this process really starts this afternoon with our hearing your voices,” Lemons said. “We want to hear what those personal attributes are that you would think are important for us as we go out.”

Within moments of giving students the floor to speak, powerful testimonies concerning increased diversity, representation and campus accessibility filled the ballroom.

Lemons and Hayek stood at their podiums, jotting down students’ input and acknowledging the source of pride and earnestness that reigned in their convictions.

For those who were unable to attend the student forum, an online survey is available to take on the Presidential Search Website, To nominate a candidate, email

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