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UMW may announce new president soon
UMW may name official president April 9


Date published: 3/21/2010

BY JEFF BRANSCOME

The University of Mary Washington may name its ninth president before this spring's graduation.

A recent e-mail from UMW spokesman George Farrar to faculty and staff said the university's board of visitors could appoint a new president as early as its April 9 meeting.

The note--which includes a message from UMW Rector Nanalou Sauder --states that comments regarding the university's future have been "very thoughtful and remarkably similar."

"They provide a sense of community sentiment," the e-mail states.

In a phone interview yesterday, Sauder said she hopes to see a president named on April 9. She said a lot of the feedback she's received has mentioned the need for stability. Also, people would like someone familiar with UMW and the state legislature, she said.

On Wednesday, the executive committee of UMW's board of visitors named Rick Hurley acting president April 1 through June 30.

President Judy Hample will be on sabbatical during that time. Last month, she abruptly resigned effective June 30 and said her reason was personal.

Mary Rigsby, faculty senate president at the Fredericksburg campus, said she'd like to see Hurley fill the post.

"I have confidence in Rick's understanding of Mary Washington and our needs and I think that faculty would really like to have the stability that Rick Hurley would bring by stepping in," she said.

Sauder said Wednesday that she hasn't heard from anyone who prefers a national search. Asked why, she said: "I think the facts speak for themselves."

Hample's predecessor, William Frawley, was fired in April 2007 after being charged with driving under the influence twice in two days.

Hurley was acting president before Hample's tenure. In an interview Wednesday, Hurley mentioned that he would be attending his third commencement as acting president.

It now looks like he may be the school's official president when students receive their diplomas.

"That's a very enjoyable day for me," Hurley said on Wednesday. "There's such a sense of excitement in the air, and being a part of that is just a great deal of fun for me."

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402
Email: jbranscome@freelancestar.com