MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State University officials announced Friday the creation of a 34-member search committee charged with finding a successor to former President David Schmidly. Schmidly resigned in February after being named president of the University of New Mexico.
Joe Hall, the chairman of the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents, said the search committee will include representatives of faculty, staff and students from each of the school's branch campuses, along with Stillwater city officials, athletics department officials and alumni who are leaders in business, agriculture and government.
Regents also approved a $90,000 contract with executive recruiter Bill Funk of R. William Funk and Associates to help with the search.
Funk, from Dallas, also assisted with the recent search for a new state higher education chancellor. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education selected former Southeastern Oklahoma State University President Glen Johnson for that post in January.
``We have strong momentum as we start this process, which is among one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Regents,'' Hall said in a statement. ``We have assembled an outstanding group and we appreciate their willingness to serve on the committee.''
Regent Doug Burns will chair the search committee, which also will include regents Hall, Calvin Anthony of Stillwater and Jay Helm of Tulsa.
The regents said they expect to name the next OSU president in the fall. OSU Provost Marlene Strathe is serving as the Oklahoma State system chief executive officer and president in the interim.
Oklahoma State also announced that alumnus Steve Birch pledged $2.5 million to endow faculty positions in teacher education and aviation education. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will match the gift.
The university also said that the family of alumnus Sherman Smith donated $1.5 million to create endowed engineering scholarships.
In January, Smith pledged $20 million toward the building of a $50 million indoor practice facility for athletics at the university.