May 29, 2014 9:53:19 AM
Bill Kibler, Mississippi State University's vice president for student affairs, was recently named one of three finalists to lead Texas-based Sul Ross State University.
Kibler is competing against Louisiana College and Technical College System Executive Vice President H. Neil Matkin and Interim Sul Ross President Quint Thurman to become the school's 12th president. An 18-member search committee appointed by the Texas State University System narrowed the applicant pool from 40 and conducted in-person interviews with each finalist.
TSUS Chancellor Brian McCall will meet with the finalists before naming a preferred candidate. Sul Ross faculty, staff and community stakeholders will also sit down with trio on June 10 and 12 during public receptions.
Sul Ross' new leader is expected to take the post in September.
Kibler was unavailable Wednesday for comments.
The university's main Alpine, Texas, campus serves a 19-county area in West Texas, while its Rio Grande system also offers studies in Del Rio, Uvalde and Eagle Pass, Texas.
Combined, nearly 3,000 students are enrolled at Sul Ross. The university reported a $37.69 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2013.
Kibler became MSU's student affairs leader in 2004, succeeding long-serving administrator Roy Ruby, who then transitioned to a leadership position within the College of Education.
He received a bachelor's, master's and educational specialist degree from the University of Florida and completed a doctorate at Texas A&M University. At TAMU, Kibler served for nine years as an associate vice president and was vice president for student affairs.
His announcement as a finalist for the Sul Ross' leadership post is the third such announcement in a year involving MSU administrators.
Both Tennessee's Austin Peay State University and the University of Southern Alabama named MSU Provost Jerry Gilbert as finalists for their university's leadership positions in September and April, respectively.
USA would go on to name Tony Waldrop, the University of Central Florida's provost and executive vice president, as its new leader in February, while Alisa White, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at Tyler, was recommended this month for APSU's search.
"As (MSU President Mark) Keenum has said on several occasions recently, it's not surprising that other universities and colleges end up with members of our team among finalists for vacancies on their campuses with the level of quality we have on MSU's senior leadership team," said Sid Salter, MSU's chief communications officer. "Dr. Kibler is a very talented administrator, and were Sul Ross University to choose him, they would have an excellent leader."
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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