West Virginia Universitys Board of Governors today (March 2) announced two finalists for the presidency of the University, along with a schedule for campus forums.

Gregory H. Williams, president of The City College of New York, and James P. Clements, provost at Towson University, have accepted invitations to visit WVU Wednesday, March 4, and Thursday, March 5, respectively.

Both President Williams and Provost Clements are accomplished academic leaders with highly successful and varied backgrounds, BOG Chairwoman Carolyn Long said.The Board looks forward to continued conversations with them and also encourages faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members to also meet and speak with each of them. I am confident that either one could lead this University into the future with integrity, intellect and enthusiasm.

Long said after the BOG received the candidate nominations from the search committee and conducted initial interviews, it decided to move quickly with campus visits becausetop senior administrators in higher education are extremely marketable right now in what is a highly competitive field, and both of these candidates are stellar.

She again thanked the search panel, under the leadership of Dr. Gene Budig, for its thoroughness and dedication to the process.

Dr. Williams, who will visit Wednesday, has been president of The City College of New Yorkthe flagship college of The City University of New Yorksince August 2001. He believes passionately in the transformative power of higher education to change individual lives and better society. Dr. Williamsleadership successes support his confidence that WVU will achieve its aspirational goals by seeking greater challenges.

During his tenure as president, he rejuvenated City College, recruiting highly successful research faculty, increasing research grants and contracts by 73 percent over the past decade and increasing enrollment by nearly 50 percent under new, more rigorous admissions standards.

Under his leadership, City College has raised more than $280 million in its first capital campaign, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks City College among the Top 50 public colleges and universities in fundraising. Williams has also been instrumental in New York states investment in the college increasingincluding nearly $1 billion in capital investment for new advanced science research buildings, a new School of Architecture and the colleges first residence hall. Under his tenure, City College has moved from a masters degree-granting to a doctoral degree-granting institution.

Prior to his appointment as president, he was dean and Carter C. Kissell Professor of Law at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University from 1993-2001, and associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Iowa from 1991-93, where he was a faculty member since 1977.

Dr. Williams has earned five degrees, including a J.D. and doctorate from George Washington University, and he has three honorary doctorates. His memoir,Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black,was selected in 1995 as Current Interest Book of the Year by The Los Angeles Times.

Dr. Clements, who will visit the WVU campus Thursday, has been provost of Towson University, the second largest public university in Maryland, since 2007. He conveys great enthusiasm and energy for the future of WVU . Dr. Clements regards WVU as a Carnegie research university (high research activity) with innovative academic and student life programs that contribute to higher retention and graduation rates.

Towson University has developed scholarship and student support programs that have led to an impressive 7 percent increase in minority student applicants and 16 percent increase in minority students admitted; an 83 percent freshman retention rate; a 65 percent six-year graduation rate; and a total increase of 36 percent in externally funded research in the past two years.

Prior to becoming provost, Dr. Clements served at Towson University as vice president for economic and community outreach from 2004-07, executive director for the Center for Applied Information Technology from 1999-2003 and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences from 1997-99, where he has been a faculty member since 1989.

As vice president for economic and community outreach, he forged stronger links between the university and community, ultimately securing more than $50 million in external funding during a four-year period.

Dr. Clements has a bachelors degree in computer science and masters and doctoral degrees in operations analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, as well as a masters degree in computer science from Johns Hopkins University. His project management textbook, in its fourth edition, is used in more than 20 countries and is published in four languages.

The candidatescurriculum vitae and photo will be available on the presidential search Web site: http://presidentialsearch.wvu.edu .

Times and locations for the Wednesday and Thursday (March 4-5) Presidential Campus Forums will follow this constituency group schedule:

Community Forum, Erickson Alumni Center Ruby Grand Ballrooms B&C, 9:45-10:30 a.m.

Classified and Nonclassified Employees Forum, Erickson Alumni Center Ruby Grand Ballrooms B&C, 10:45-11:30 a.m.

Undergraduate, Graduate, Professional Student Forum, Erickson Alumni Center Ruby Grand Ballrooms B&C, 1:15-2 p.m.

Faculty Forum, Erickson Alumni Center Ruby Grand Ballrooms B&C, 3-3:45 p.m.

Bus transportation from Downtown, Evansdale and Health Sciences locations to and from Erickson will be provided; shuttle information will be posted online and via employee e-mail.

While any member of the campus community may attend these forums, the remarks and questions are intended to be focused on concerns and issues of the specific constituency, Long noted.

Board members are also interested in comments from those attending these sessions, she added, so evaluation forms will be distributed at each event and an online form will also be available on the presidential search Web site ( http://presidentialsearch.wvu.edu ) from 8 a.m. the day of the candidates visit until 7:59 a.m. the following day.

Even though the time period is short, Long said all responses will be collected and delivered to the BOG the morning after each visit.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, the community and the Board were all well represented by their constituency groups during the search committee process, but we still want input from as many others as possible in order to make the best possible presidential choice for our University and for our state,she said.This input will be invaluable.

Each finalist will also meet with WVU s Board of Governors during his campus visit. The Board expects to select WVU s 23rd president at the panels Friday, March 6, special meeting and make the announcement later that day pending Higher Education Policy Commission approval. The announcement will be webcast at http://webcast.wvu.edu/ .

C. Peter Magrath was named WVU s interim president last July, replacing Mike Garrison, who completed his service as president Sept. 1. Magrath will continue to serve until the permanent president begins his termlikely by July 1.

For more information on the search, visit http://presidentialsearch.wvu.edu/ .