Meet the final four presidential candidates

Eastern will interview four candidates to replace the current University President for Eastern, David Glassman. Those candidates include, Jay Gatrell (left), David Brennen (top middle), Michael Godard (bottom middle), and Diana Rogers-Adkinson.

Graphic with submitted photos

Eastern will interview four candidates to replace the current University President for Eastern, David Glassman. Those candidates include, Jay Gatrell (left), David Brennen (top middle), Michael Godard (bottom middle), and Diana Rogers-Adkinson.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

With the upcoming retirement of current University President David Glassman, the Presidential Search Committee has been searching for his successor.

After months of searching and over 50 applications, the committee has narrowed the list to four individuals.

One of the candidates is Jay Gatrell. He obtained his doctrine of philosophy in geography from West Virginia University in 1999.

He previously served as Vice Provost at Bellarmine University. Gatrell also spent over 13 years at Indiana State University in multiple positions including Graduate Dean and Associate Dean.

Gatrell currently serves as the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs for Eastern. He has hopes of shifting the academic programs at Eastern to be more student focused, including launch of accelerated graduate programs.

Gatrell is a first-generation student and initiated Eastern’s Student Success Taskforce during his first year at Eastern, which resulted in the creation of the Academic Success Center.

Gatrell also has hopes and intentions of allowing Eastern to become a more affordable program. He has worked on fundraising at Eastern, Indiana State University and Bellarmine University.

Another candidate is David Brennen, whom is also a first-generation student. He obtained his master of laws, LL.M., from the University of Florida.

Brennen became a college professor, and with this position, he was able to serve on several faculties, including serving as a Board leader. He also spent over a decade as a public university dean and a year in-residence at a private liberal arts college as an American Council on Education.

He has spent 13 years working in higher education as an executive leadership as deputy director at the Association of American Law Schools and as dean at the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law (UK Law).

At UK Law, he assisted in organizing events regarding diverse topics including religion, education, and civil rights.

He also believes that he can strategize ways to market and communicate Eastern to different audiences to emphasize Eastern’s strengths.

Diana Rogers-Adkinson is another presidential candidate and a first generation student. She currently serves as the provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at the Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania (CU). She also serves as the campus administration of the Bloomsburg location of CU, which is the largest of the three campuses.

Rogers-Adkinson has spent over 25 years with academic and administrative experience at schools with sizes similar to Eastern. She has also spent 16 years in leadership roles including chair, director, dean and provost.

She believes that she can strengthen Eastern’s financial position. She developed a relationship with Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s chief financial officer. They met weekly with the budget committee, and she found this process helpful.

She also believes that fundraising is a useful skill that she can provide, if elected Eastern’s president.

At CU, she supported the liberal arts dean in a $5.3 million gift for the communications program. She also obtained a $1 million gift for the honors college, and a $500 thousand foundation gift for the SIM lab for nursing.

Finally, the last candidate is Michael Godard, whom is also a first generation college student.

He has been able to sit in multiple positions at different colleges such as interim and vice provost at the University of Central Missouri, department chairperson at the University of Central Missouri, associate director at Western Illinois University Honors College and president for Central States American College of Sports Medicine.

While vice provost for student success/enrollment management, he was able to work with academic and support units to achieve record enrollments while also increasing incoming student academic credentials.

He also assisted in improving the scholarship program at the University of Central Missouri. Adequate aid was provided to students working collaboratively with the foundation office to secure donor support.

All candidates will have public interviews throughout January.

Gatrell had his on campus interviews on Jan. 10.

Brennen will have his on campus interviews on Thursday.

Rogers-Adkinson will have her on campus interviews on Jan. 17.

Godard will have his on campus interviews on Jan. 23.

All student session interviews will take place from 3 p.m. to 3:50 p.m., in the Arcola/Tuscola Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. Staff’s is at the same location from 10 a.m. to 10:50 a.m., employees at 2 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. and Eastern’s community and Charleston’s community at 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

 

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]