Student reps participate in presidential search

The search for Tech’s next president has been underway since August, when former President, G. Wayne Clough, stepped down on July 1, to accept a position as the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute.

The Board of Regents selected two students representatives to sit on the committee that was formed to evaluate the presidential candidates.

Darryl Richard, MBA graduate student and starter on the football team, serves as the graduate representative and Nick Wellkamp, undergraduate president of Student Government Association, serves as the undergraduate representative.

“My chief role is to provide a second student perspective and specifically to represent undergraduates on the committee,” Wellkamp said.

Both Richard and Wellkamp are able to attend the search committee meetings, and Richard holds a voting position with the search group.

Aaron Fowler, graduate president of the Student Government Association, is the graduate student representative alternate and is also actively involved in the presidential search process. He discusses issues with Tech faculty regarding matters facing graduate students.

“My role in this process is to help relay graduate concerns about the presidential search to Darryl Richard,” Fowler said. “Having Darryl on this committee is a valuable asset to students, because he will be able to address the committee with our concerns.”

The presidential search committee recently held an open forum for both undergraduate and graduate students allowing individuals to voice their comments and concerns about the presidential search process, however few students choose to attend these sessions.

To counter this, Richard, who was unavailable for comment for this story, has undertaken the task of increasing awareness of the presidential search by talking to many of the student organizations on campus.

The presidential search committee has developed very detailed selection criteria for presidential hopefuls.

“We are looking for a president who has a powerful vision for the future of Georgia Tech, strong leadership experience and a proven track record of valuing students,” Wellkamp said. “The [new] president should be proactive in improving the student experience, both in and out of the classroom, and should realize that preparing for a career is [the] foremost [issue] on most students’ minds.”

As for the current status of the presidential search, Wellkamp sees the current state of the search progressing very well.

“The pool of candidates is excellent and growing,” Wellkamp said. “We are currently recruiting more candidates and sorting through their curricula vitae.”

In the next few months, the committee will move on to a more intensive interview process and more reference checking, to whittle down the list of current candidates.

“We hope to announce the new president next spring, hopefully by March,” Wellkamp said.