Composition of JMU Presidential Search Committee announced

JMU News

HARRISONBURG, Va. — The composition of the committee leading the search for the seventh president at James Madison University has been finalized, according to Rector-Elect of the Board of Visitors Suzanne Obenshain. 

The presidential search committee will oversee the search process to ensure the appointment of a leader who will be committed to excellence in education and research and will align the institution with the mission and goals.   

Kay Coles James, member of the Board of Visitors, will chair the committee. 

The committee is comprised of the following individuals:

  • Dickie Bell – member of the Board of Visitors
  • Jeff Bolander - member of the Board of Visitors
  • Mike Busing – dean of the College of Business
  • Warren Coleman – president/CEO of the JMU Foundation
  • Terrie Edwards - member of the Board of Visitors
  • Maribeth Herod – current rector of the Board of Visitors
  • Kay Coles James - member of the Board of Visitors
  • Steve Smith - member of the Board of Visitors
  • Roger Soenksen – faculty member within the College of Arts and Letters
  • Sydney Stafford – student representative to the Board of Visitors
  • Nicole Palya Wood - member of the Board of Visitors 

The presidential search committee will work with a nationally recognized search firm to define a presidential profile, review all candidate profiles and participate in the first round of interviews. 

The committee will host a number of “listening tours” to hear from different constituencies on desired qualities and qualifications in order to define the values and abilities that the new president should embody. 

The presidential search committee is dedicated to conducting a thorough and diligent nationwide search to narrow the candidate pool to the top candidates. 

The JMU Board of Visitors will conduct the final round of interviews and make the presidential appointment. Selecting the university’s next president is one of the most important tasks an institution will undertake. 

“We are committed to finding a leader who will uphold the standards of academic excellence at James Madison University,” Obenshain said. “We look forward to working together to identify the best candidate who will guide us into the future.” 

The search will take place over the next academic year. Additional information and updates will always be available online


Media contact: Mary-Hope Vass,



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Published: Friday, May 17, 2024

Last Updated: Friday, May 17, 2024

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