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A presidential search committee has been formed by the Regional University System of Oklahoma to conduct a national search for the next president of East Central University. Connie Reilly of Okemah, a member of the RUSO Board of Regents, was appointed to chair the committee at the regents' regular meeting on Jan. 21.

The committee also includes Regent Ann Holloway of Ardmore and Regent Michael Mitchel of Alva.

The board earlier appointed Dr. Duane C. Anderson, ECU provost and vice president for academic affairs, as ECU's interim president, effective Jan. 1, following the resignation of President Richard Rafes.

The regents also will form a Presidential Search Advisory Committee which will include ECU faculty, staff, students, alumni and business people. The committee will be asked to provide advice and counsel to the regents throughout the search process and to screen all applications and recommend applicants for the presidency.

Dr. Joe Anna Hibler, chair of the board of regents, said ECU faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends are being invited to help the Presidential Search Advisory Committee identify the attributes they believe will be most important for the next ECU president and who will be able to bring his or her own vision into this context.

Hibler said the regents also welcome thoughts on any other challenges or opportunities facing ECU that need to be part of the incoming president's priorities for the university, as well as assistance in identifying nominees.

In December, she added, the regents invited prior applicants for the presidency to review their applications and posted an online advertisement for the presidency in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Written comments, recommendations and nominations should be sent to Sheridan McCaffree, Executive Director, Regional University System of Oklahoma, 3555 N.W. 58, Suite 320, Oklahoma City, OK 73112. They also can be emailed to McCaffree at

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