BREAKING: McNeese Presidential Search Committee narrows candidate list to four

Published 3:59 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

The McNeese State University Presidential Search Committee has selected four semi-finalists.

McNeese’s current president Daryl Burckel is set to retire on June 30. He is a two-time McNeese graduate, and took the helm as McNeese president in 2017 after serving as the head of the McNeese Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.

Eighteen candidates applied to fill the position: 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 Skudzinkas, Alan C. Utter, Allen P. Vital and Kathi Vosevich.

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Rick Gallot, chair and president of the Mcneese Presidental Search Committee, said the 18 that were considered to be semi-finalists came from a “wide and diverse range of applications.”

“We have an exceptional pool of well-qualified candidates with a wide array of backgrounds and experiences.”

After nearly three hours of executive session, the committee unanimously voted to advance Benoit, Robinson, Rousse and Vital to the semi-finalist round.

Later this month on April 16 and 17, on-campus constituent group meetings and search committee interviews will be conducted, followed by finalist selection.

The Board of Supervisors will interview finalists and select McNeese’s new president in the following week.

The committee is accepting public comment electronically. These can be submitted by visiting