WLU Presidential Candidates Announced, Campus Visits Planned

West Liberty University’s Presidential Search Committee has announced the names of candidates advancing to the next step in its search for the university’s 37thpresident.

“We were fortunate to draw a robust group of applicants, which the committee spent hours vetting, and we’re now ready to share the remaining names with the public. We look forward to introducing these candidates to the campus community soon,” said Committee Chairman Rich Lucas, who also serves as the Board of Governors chairman.

President Stephen Greiner announced his plans for retirement in November, and a search committee was then formed.

More than 40 applied for the position, which was narrowed down to 11 and then to five via Zoom interviews. Remaining candidates will visit campus this month before a final selection is made sometime in April.

Read about the five candidates below:

Dr. Robert Colvin is from Virginia, where he has spent 21 years in higher education, both as a faculty member and administrator. He is vice provost for undergraduate education at Christopher Newport University (CNU), a public liberal arts university in Newport News, Virginia.

Prior to that, he was dean of the College of Social Sciences, also at CNU, and before that, he was a professor in the Department of Leadership and American Studies and the Department of Government and Public Affairs. While at CNU, he also served as a visiting professor in both China and Italy.

He has experience outside higher education, having founded an Employee Benefits Management LLC and working in the Virginia Office of Consumer Affairs. He amassed more experience as a lobbyist and worked for a brief time in the Office of the Governor as deputy secretary of public safety, while he held the appointed position of Commissioner for Alcohol Control. He began his career as chief deputy sheriff of Montgomery County, Virginia.

Colvin earned his doctoral degree in public policy and administration at Virginia Commonwealth University and both his undergraduate degree in business administration and his MBA at Radford University (Virginia). Colvin visits on March 25

Dr. Brian Crawford is from Wheeling and is an internal candidate who has worked at WLU for more than 20 years in several capacities, including serving as acting president for three months in 2014. He is currently the provost and was formerly the dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Prior to that, he was the chairman of WLU’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. As a professor, Crawford taught geography at WLU for the past 20 years, and prior to that, he taught geography at Ohio University, Indiana State University and Allan Hancock College. He also taught aerospace studies at the University of Kentucky for two years.

Crawford earned his doctoral degree in physical geography at Indiana State University, his master’s degree in earth science at California University of Pennsylvania and his undergraduate degree in geography at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Crawford served in the military for 19 years and is a retired captain in the United States Air Force. Crawford will visit as presidential candidate on March 18-19.

Dr. Joe Delap is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Athens State University in Alabama, the state’s oldest institution of higher education. A tenured professor, he has more than 30 years experience in teaching. Prior to his current position, he was vice provost and dean of graduate studies at Jacksonville State University.

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Before that, he served as an associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway for several years. Prior to that, he was a professor and department chairman of languages and English as a Second Language coordinator at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina.

Previously he served as an instructor and research assistant for Dutch and German at Indiana University, a teaching assistant for German at the University of Arkansas and was a Fulbright Exchange Teacher in Germany.

He earned both a master’s and a doctoral degree in Germanic Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He earned a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s in political science and French at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Delap visits March 29-30.

Dr. David Haney is a higher education consultant, author and former president of Centenary University in Hackettstown, New Jersey, a position he resigned in 2018 after serving for two years. Prior to that, he was vice president for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Emory & Henry College, Emory, Virginia. where he served for four years.

Prior to that, Haney was a professor, provost and administrator, serving the longest at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, for nine years. Before that, he served as a professor at Auburn University, Alabama. for several years where he also was coordinator of graduate studies in English for a time.

Haney began his college career as a visiting assistant professor at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. He amassed grant writing experience over the years and also served as an adjunct professor. Early in his career, he taught high school English and served as Dean of Students at the Cambridge School of Weston, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He earned both a master’s and doctoral degree in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in English at Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota. Haney visits March 16-17.

Dr. Randall Leite is dean of the College of Health Sciences and professions at Ohio University, Athens, a position he’s held since 2009. Before that, he was associate dean for Academic Affairs for one year at OU. Prior to that, he was a professor at Bowling Green State University in Ohio for seven years.

Leite served as director of the Institute for Child and Family Policy for two years, linking research to social policy and outreaching to health and human services across the state of Ohio. Prior to that, he worked at Ohio State University in Marion, Ohio, for 15 years, serving in a variety of positions as assistant dean, academic program coordinator, adjunct lecturer, director of student affairs and staff assistant.

He began his academic career at Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio, in the position of adult degree program coordinator, and before that, was residential life coordinator at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio.

Leite earned both a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs and a doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University, Columbus. He earned his bachelor’s in psychology at Ohio Dominican College, Columbus. He visits March 23-24.

The upcoming on-campus visits will give students, faculty, staff, alumni and other stakeholders a chance to meet the candidates and voice their opinion. Separate meetings are planned with all constituencies. The process will continue until a final candidate is found.