SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 31, 2012 — Drury University announced today, Wednesday, Oct. 31, that Dr. David Manuel will become Drury’s president on June 1, 2013.
“I am honored and humbled to be named the 17th president of Drury University. Drury holds a very special place in American higher education by answering the call for broadly educated young people who are prepared to shape the future,” Dr. Manuel said. “I look forward to joining Drury and to becoming a strong link in Drury’s connections to its constituents, to its communities and to its future.”
Dr. Manuel is currently the chancellor and a professor of Economics at Louisiana State University at Alexandria. Prior to working at LSU-Alexandria, Manuel was the vice president of academic affairs at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. Manuel holds a Ph.D. and a master’s in economics from the University of Mississippi. He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Nicholls State University.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Manuel and his wife Betty Coe Manuel to the Drury community,” said Lynn Chipperfield, chairman of Drury’s board of trustees. “Dr. Manuel has demonstrated the leadership skills that will be critical to maintaining Drury’s high academic standards while driving forward to continued success. Just as importantly, he has a Drury personality — he understands and he appreciates the unique culture of Drury and of Southwest Missouri. We have no doubt that both he and Betty Coe will quickly become an integral part of the Springfield community as Drury continues in its efforts to reach out and connect with our broader constituencies.”
Dr. Manuel was one of three candidates who visited campus in late September and early October. The other two were: Dr. David Steele of San Jose State University and Dr. David McInally of Allegheny College in Pennsylvania. Candidates met with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and area business and civic leaders. Following the on-campus interviews, the search committee made a recommendation to the board of trustees. The board of trustees made a final vote during its meeting on Oct. 26.
“This has been a year-long journey for the search committee,” Chipperfield said. “We started with 65 candidates, narrowed that to three and we’ve landed on the best candidate to take Drury into the future. I can’t thank the search committee enough, and the meticulous and deliberate process they went through to include all voices in the decision, including: students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. While this was a board decision, we can definitely say that choosing Dr. Manuel as Drury’s 17th president was an example of shared governance.”
The search for the 17th Drury president began in August of 2011 when current Drury President Todd Parnell announced that he would retire in May of 2013. The first presidential search committee meeting convened in November of 2011. The search committee was made up of eight members of the board of trustees, four faculty members, two staff members, one student and one alumna, plus five non-voting members. 65 people from diverse backgrounds applied for the position, and, after a series of phone and video interviews, five were invited to in-person, off-campus interviews in September, and the final three candidates emerged from that series of interviews.
President Parnell took over as Drury’s interim president on June 1, 2007, following the resignation of Dr. John Sellars. A 1969 Drury graduate, Parnell applied for the presidency and was named Drury’s 16th president on Jan. 31, 2008. Parnell will be 65 when he retires in May of 2013.
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