Winthrop to meet with 12 college president candidates next week

adouglas@heraldonline.com December 11, 2012 

The Winthrop University committee tasked with vetting applicants for retiring President Anthony DiGiorgio’s post will meet their first round of job candidates face-to-face next week.

The list has been narrowed down to 12 candidates, said search committee chairwoman Kathy Bigham.

The 10-member search group, which includes one professor and one student, chose the 12 candidates from a group of about 30 to 40 applications last month.

The pool of applicants is a “very diverse group,” Bigham said.

Bigham -- who is also the vice chair of Winthrop’s Board of Trustees -- and rest of the search committee will recommend three finalists to the Board after meeting with candidates next week.

The meetings will be held in Charlotte from Sunday through Tuesday.

Winthrop hired a search firm this summer to conduct a nation-wide search and call for applications.

The search consultant, Greenwood-Asher, has made at least 600 phone calls to people who were recommended for Winthrop’s presidential position or expressed interest in the job.

Other applications came in after Winthrop advertised the vacancy in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

The process, Bigham said, is still in the confidentiality stage because candidates do not want to jeopardize their current jobs at other universities or organizations.

Once Winthrop’s Board of Trustees recognizes the three finalists, those who are short-listed will visit the Rock Hill campus and meet with the public.

The current applicant pool, Bigham said, has diversity in terms of gender, age, race and geographic location.

“I am pleased with where we are,” she said.

DiGiorgio announced in March his plan to retire after 24 years at Winthrop. He is the longest-serving president of any public university in South Carolina.

His successor will be Winthrop’s 10th president, transitioning into the role after June 2013.

Anna Douglas 803-329-4068

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