Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University Presidential Finalist Aaron M. Podolefsky, Ph.D. to Visit Campus

3-6 Georgia Southern welcomes STEM educatorsAaron M. Podolefsky, Ph.D., a finalist in the Georgia Southern University Presidential Search, will visit the University campus this week.

Podolefsky, who currently serves as president of the University of Central Missouri (UCM), is one of several finalists who will be visiting the University and the Statesboro area as the search for Georgia Southern’s 12th President continues. His visit will include meetings and interviews with University officials and open forums for the campus and community.

Podolefsky previously served for seven years as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Prior to becoming provost, he served eight years as dean of UNI’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. From 1986-90, he was professor of anthropology and head of Western Kentucky University’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work. He also served as associate chair and associate professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University, and was a research associate for the Center for Urban Affairs and Policy Research at Northwestern University.

Podolefsky earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from San Jose State University and received two Master of Arts degrees (liberal studies and anthropology) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He holds a Ph.D. with Distinction in anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook. Podolefsky has authored numerous scholarly books, textbooks and articles. He is a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, elected by the organization’s executive committee in recognition of his significant scholarly contributions to the field of anthropology.

The Community Open Forum will be held Thursday Sept. 24, 2009 from 4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. in Georgia Southern’s Performing Arts Center. Members of the community are invited to attend.

The finalists’ visit to campus is the last step in the initial phase of the Presidential Search process. The University System of Georgia Board of Regents formed a Presidential Search and Screen Committee made up of Georgia Southern faculty, staff, and student leaders and members of the local community.

A nationwide search of candidates was conducted and the Search Committee reviewed the qualifications of the applicants. After on-campus interviews are completed, the campus committee will forward the credentials of three to five unranked candidates to a Special Regents’ Search Committee for the second phase of the search.

Regents Felton Jenkins, William H. NeSmith Jr., Benjamin J. Tarbutton III and Richard L. Tucker serve as members of the Special Regents’ Search Committee chaired by Regent Donald M. Leebern, Jr. This committee is responsible for recommending finalists to Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr., who will make a recommendation to the full Board of Regents.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 115 degree programs serving more than 18,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

Note to Media: Media will be allowed to cover the campus/community forum. However, videotaping will only be allowed for the first five minutes of the candidate’s presentation. The candidate will not be available for interviews.

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