The Mountain State University Board of Trustees today named Richard E. Sours, Ph.D., to serve as interim president.
The appointment is effective immediately.
"The interim president is a consultant and advisor to the board, and we're very grateful that Dr. Sours has agreed to help us in that role," explained Jerry Ice, Ed.D., chairman of the Board of Trustees. "We're a team moving forward."
"I'm certainly gratified and pleased at the confidence that the board has demonstrated in me to offer me the position," Sours said. "I'm excited about the possibilities, comfortable with the people with whom I will be working, and anxious to get started."
The board chose Sours from among three well-qualified candidates identified through the Registry of College and University Presidents. The board interviewed each candidate on campus on Sunday and Monday.
MSU faculty and staff also met each candidate and completed written evaluations following group discussions Monday. Those evaluations were a key component to the board's deliberations, Ice said.
Sours is the former president of William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa, from May 2004 through June 2009. Most recently, after selection through the Registry, he has served as interim dean of Mountain State's School of Arts and Sciences since September 2011.
"We presented all of the candidates with a list of the challenges we face. The university is committed to following the path outlined in our Strategic Plan, and will take all of the necessary steps in shared governance, resource allocation and other areas that will meet the standards of the Higher Learning Commission," Ice noted.
"That will certainly keep us fully occupied. At the same time, the interim will help us paint a profile of what we want to see in a permanent president."
During Sours' tenure at WPU, the university added three new facilities, received a $1 million gift to endow academic scholarships, and increased alumni giving by 46 percent during his last three years.
He served as vice president and dean of the college at Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va., beginning in July 1997 and was promoted to executive vice president and dean in 2003.
The Registry maintains a nationwide database of experienced administrators, often retired, who serve in interim capacities.