BREAKING: 18 throw their hats in the ring to be McNeese’s next president

Published 4:12 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The McNeese State University Presidential Search Committee will meet in Baton Rouge on Thursday to select semifinalists for the position.

Daryl Burckel, who has served as McNeese’s seventh president in 2017, has announced he will retire this summer.

A Louisiana native, Burckel is a two-time graduate of McNeese where he played football on an athletic scholarship for the Cowboys. He received his doctorate in business administration from Mississippi State University.

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The 18 candidates who have thrown their hats into the ring to replace him are Jonathan Ambrose, Andy Benoit Jr., Jose L. Cantu, Rick A. Christman, Terry Dale Cruse Maurice D. Gipson, Ernie T. Hughes, Jonathan K. Jefferson, Vipin Menon, Juline E. Mills, Shadow Robinson, Wade Rousse, Stephen Schultheis, Eric Skipper, Al Skudzinskas, Alan C. Utter, Allen P. Vital and Kathi Vosevich.

Ambrose is vice president for the student experience and dean of students at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.

Benoit is vice president for the division of enrollment management at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

Cantu is vice chancellor for enrollment management at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Christman is interim president of Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C.

Cruse is associate vice president and head of the Meridian campus for Mississippi State University in Meridian, Miss.

Gipson is vice chancellor of University of Missouri at Columbia.

Hughes is vice president for university advancement at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

Jefferson is the former special advisor to the present at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass.

Menon is an associate professor at McNeese State University in the Department of Engineering and Computer Science.

Mills is interim provost and vice president of academic affairs at Westfield State University in Westfield, Mass.

Robinson is provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.

Rousse is the executive vice president of McNeese State University.

Schultheis is vice president for enrollment management at Middle Georgia State University.

Skipper is provost and executive vice chancellor of academic affairs at University of South Carolina Beaufort.

Skudzinskas is chief operations officer for Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, Columbia, Maryland.

Utter is the former provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and research at Arkansas State University.

Vital is chief of staff to the president for the Southern University System.

Vosevich is the founding dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, dean of the School of Humanities and chief academic officer of Lidenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.