St. Pete chancellor search narrowed to three finalists

While no public announcement was made for the decision, only three of the initial four finalists remain in the running. ORACLE PHOTO/LEDA ALVIM

The hunt for the next St. Pete campus regional chancellor has been narrowed down to three finalists, with the announcement of who will fill the position expected to come soon.

Although the final four candidates were announced April 28, the search website now lists only three of those candidates.

Initially, the four finalists included Dean and Professor of Management at Purdue University Fort Wayne Melissa Gruys, Dean and Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver Christian Hardigree, Vice President for Strategy and Chief Operating Officer at Eckerd College Kanika Tomalin and former Chancellor of the University of Washington Bothell Bjong Yeigh. The updated list excludes Yeigh.

An email sent out Tuesday to St. Pete students confirmed Yeigh withdrew his candidacy, although a reason for his decision was not given at the time of publication.

The search for the successor of former Chancellor Martin Tadlock features a 17-member committee and has been moving along at a brisk pace. The candidate pool was reduced from 17 to nine April 25, just three days before the final four were announced.

President Rhea Law is currently reviewing feedback and hopes to announce the chosen candidate within the next week, according to St. Pete Director of Communications and Marketing Carrie O’Brion.

Recently brought to light was that two of the finalists, Gruys and Hardigree, are simultaneously competing for the same position at another university as well.

Both are finalists in the provost and vice president of academic affairs search for Lamar University, according to an article published Friday from Beaumont Enterprise.

Gruys was a college of business dean finalist at the University of Wyoming, although it was announced Friday she did not obtain the position.

This is a developing story. Stay with The Oracle for updates.