Richard balances school, football, presidential search

Darryl Richard was already carrying a heavy load as both an MBA student and a defensive tackle on Tech’s football team. But this summer, on top of all that, he was named as the student body representative on the presidential search committee to find a replacement for former Institute President Wayne Clough. Clough left in July to lead the Smithsonian Institution.

The 20-member committee, which was launched in August to recruit the Institute’s next president, is composed of regents from the University of Georgia Board of Regents, professors from each college and a number of accomplished alumni. Richard was chosen because of his experience as both an undergraduate and a graduate at Tech, his excellent academic record and heavy involvement in campus organizations—most notably as one of the captains of Tech’s football team.

In order to represent the student body to the best of his ability, Richard has been going around campus organizations and canvassing opinions on what students would like to see in the next institutional president.

“My job is to bring the student perspective to the table and blend it with the views of other constituents,” Richard said.

In order to promote student input into the presidential selection, open forums for undergraduates and graduates were held in which students could express their opinions about what they wanted to see in the next president.

Particularly, Richard has been talking to Georgia Tech Ambassadors, who deal with community and alumni relations, the Ramblin’ Reck Club, the Undergraduate House of Representatives and the Honor Advisory Council, among numerous other organizations around campus.

“The hardest part about representing the entire student body is finding a medium between the perspective of the undergraduate students and that of the graduate students, which are very different. For example, graduate students want more programs dedicated to them and a dean of their own, and undergrads want more research opportunities with professors,” Richard said.

Some of the criteria that the committee uses in evaluating candidates for the position are as follows: if the candidate has shown him or herself capable of staffing well and managing a large budget, has experience as a good fundraiser, and can gain and maintain the respect of faculty and students.

“So far I’ve seen many very promising candidates,” said Richard. “No doubt Tech will have a great president who will have an effect on academic communities across the nation and improve our standing in the world.”