The search begins for next SEMO president

As Dr. Kenneth Dobbins said recently, there will be plenty of time to say goodbye.

For now, though, there is still much work to be done.

Dobbins announced last week that this would be his final academic year at the head post of Southeast Missouri State University. The school president since 1999, Dobbins leaves behind a strong legacy.

Now begins the process of finding his replacement.

The university's board of regents recently put out an outline of how the next president will be found.

Southeast has secured Parker Executive Search to help find Dobbins' successor. According to a letter sent out by Board of Regents President Doyle L. Privett, the firm will be guided by a presidential search and screening advisory committee that will consist of 16 members with three regents and 13 others, including:

* five faculty

* one professional staff

* one clerical technical service council member

* two students

* one foundation board member

* three at-large representatives from various organizations and groups, which may include executive staff, deans, alumni or representatives from regional campuses.

Dobbins will help make the transition to the new president before he retires in June.

In the meantime, it appears the university has set up a good process to find the next leader of Southeast Missouri State University. We have faith that the committee, the search firm and the university will take the responsibility seriously. Cape Girardeau is a fine place to live, and the current president will attest that there is strong local support in this college town. It should be a great position to have, and so it stands to reason that a great person can be found to fill it.

We wish everyone involved in the process our best. It's an exciting time for the university.