BEAUMONT - Lamar University students, faculty and staff are meeting the three finalists for LU President.
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The candidates include LU Vice-President Gregg Lassen, seen in the picture attached to this story.
Lamar University introduced its three finalists for president to the campus community with a series of forums, the first time students, staff and faculty could directly ask them questions in a public format.
Kenneth Evans, embraced the forum as an outlet for everyone, particularly students, to express their views.
“You’ve got to be transparent. You’ve got to create an open environment where they feel comfortable talking to you,” he said.
Evans is the dean of the College of Business at the University of Oklahoma.
He was joined by Carl Stockton, the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Houston, Clear Lake and Gregg Lassen, a vice president at Lamar.
All three men spent the day rotating through different rooms, answering questions from students, faculty and staff members.
A common question from all groups centered around retention.
Stockton believes keeping kids in college year after year starts well before students graduate from high school.
“I said to the superintendent in BISD who is on the search committee that we should go after grants together to help work with those kids in the community, so that by the time they get to the university, they’re college ready, particular in math. I know that’s an issue,” said Stockton.
Lassen is the only finalist with ties to Lamar University. He acknowledges the work Dr. Simmons has done and doesn’t believe the university needs to change all that much.
“The university is in a good footing, and what we’re trying to do is take the university that went from here to here, and now take it to here.
The finalists include: Kenneth R. Evans, dean of the College of Business at the University of Oklahoma; Gregg Lassen, vice president for finance and operations at Lamar University; and Carl Stockton, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Houston Clear Lake.
A public reception will be held March 7 from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in the University Reception Center on the 8th floor of the Mary and John Gray Library to give members of the community an opportunity to meet the three finalists.
The TSUS Chancellor is expected to recommend a lone finalist to the board of regents by the end of March.
James Simmons, Lamar president since 1999, is returning to the faculty as a professor in the Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music.