(The following statement was issued today by Dr. John Bardo, Chancellor of Western Carolina University, after an announcement in May that he was among the top four candidates being considered for the position of president of Marshall University in Huntington, WVa.)

“The Presidential Search Committee at Marshall University likely will meet this week to determine whom it will recommend to lead the university in the years ahead.  I have asked that my name not be a part of the committee's final considerations. 

“Marshall is a fine institution with a bright and intriguing future, with excellent leadership and strong support at the highest levels of West Virginia's state government.  I have appreciated immensely the opportunity to explore with many of those leaders how public policy and higher education might better intersect to enhance the lives of our citizens and the economies of our states and their sub regions. 

“Deborah and I have done a great deal of soul searching.  We were extremely impressed with the opportunities presented by Marshall and with the direct support of that institution demonstrated by the governor and major legislative leaders. West Virginia, through legislative action taken this year, has engaged its universities in a broad-based effort to build the economy of the state and of its sub regions. That vision – and that concrete action -- is what made the Marshall position very attractive.

“At the same time, we cannot walk away from our commitments to the people of North Carolina , and especially to the people of Western North Carolina. Our hearts are in North Carolina. While personal career advancement might well involve accepting the challenge of leading a complex institution with doctoral status, I do not believe that our commitment to the people of North Carolina would best be served by our accepting a position in another state at this time.  Therefore, I have notified the search committee at Marshall that I am withdrawing my name so they may more appropriately consider other candidates in light of Deborah's and my decision.

“ North Carolina is currently engaged in thoughtful consideration of how our own universities might further contribute to the well-being of our citizens, in expanded access to higher education and as a catalyst to economic development. Helping North Carolina achieve those goals is at the core of Western Carolina University's mission, and all of us at the University look forward to continued discussion of how best to achieve them.”

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Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2005
Copyright 2005 by Western Carolina University