A national search is under way for a new president at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

The presidency was vacated in June 2003 with the departure of Erik Bitterbaum who became president of SUNY Cortland after three years at the Parkersburg campus. Dr. Joseph L. Badgley, dean of academic affairs, is serving as interim president.

Nine community and institutional representatives have been appointed to the presidential search and screening committee, announced Gerald E. Lang, WVU provost and vice president for academic affairs and research.

Members of the committee include: Co-chairs Joe Campbell, vice president of WesBanco and chair of the WVU Parkersburg Board of Advisors, and C.B. Wilson, WVU associate provost/academic personnel; and members Michael Hastings, general manager of Benson International; William Niday, superintendent of Wood County Schools; Ragina Copeland, faculty, WVU Parkersburg; Cindy Kelley, faculty, WVU Parkersburg; Vijay Shah, faculty, WVU Parkersburg; Violet Mosser, classified staff, WVU Parkersburg, and Mike Howerton, student representative, WVU Parkersburg.

The position is being advertised nationally and the target date for receiving applications is March 5. The committee intends to meet during the week of March 8 to begin screening the applications and determining those candidates who will be invited to campus for interviews.

The new leader will also be a regional vice president of WVU , reporting to WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.

WVU Parkersburg is the sixth largest public college in the state. WVU s largest regional campus, it is one of only 15 public institutions in the United States classified as a Baccalaureate/Associates College.

Approximately 3,500 students are enrolled at WVU Parkersburg in certificate, associate and baccalaureate programs as well as workforce development training.

The College was founded in 1961 as the Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University. On July 1, 1971, it became Parkersburg Community College, the states first comprehensive community college. In a reorganization of West Virginias public higher education system in 1989, the institution became West Virginia University at Parkersburg, a regional campus of WVU .

WVU s Office of Extended Learning offers graduate programs on the Parkersburg campus.

For updates on the presidential search, visit online athttp://www.wvup.edu/