Finalists for UNH Presidency Announced
Contact:  Matthew Cookson
603-862-0904
Associate Vice Chancellor for External Relations
University System of New Hampshire

Jennifer Murray
603-862-0653
Vice President For University Communications
November 28, 2006


LEE, NH – The search committee charged with recommending candidates for the presidency at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has narrowed the field to two finalists.  Dr. Jack Burns, the former vice president for academic affairs and research at the University of Colorado System, and Dr. John Cavanaugh, president of the University of West Florida will visit the state in December and meet with students, faculty, staff, and members of the community during the public phase of the search process. 

Jack Burns, Ph.D. (photo) is a professor and National Science Foundation and NASA-funded researcher in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He has held several leadership positions in higher education including vice president for academic affairs and research for the University of Colorado System until 2005, vice provost for research at the University of Missouri, and faculty and administrative positions at New Mexico State University.  Dr. Burns has been widely published in refereed journals, books, and in conference proceedings and abstracts.  He received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in astrophysics from the University of Massachusetts, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in astronomy from Indiana University.  He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has been and continues to be very involved in many national and statewide research and academic organizations. 

John C. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. (photo) is the fourth president of the University of West Florida and has served in this capacity since 2002.  Prior to assuming the presidency at UWF, Dr. Cavanaugh held faculty and administrative positions at Bowling Green State University, the Medical College of Ohio, the University of Delaware, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Gerontological Society of America, and was an American Council on Education fellow.  He is the author or coauthor of numerous books and articles and chapters on aging, teaching, information technology, and higher education.  Dr. Cavanaugh received his bachelor’s degree with high honors in psychology from the University of Delaware and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Notre Dame.  He is very active in national, regional, and local higher education associations and professional organizations.

“We had a deep pool of outstanding candidates for the search committee to work with,” said UNH Associate Professor/Chair of Natural Resources and search committee member Mimi Becker.  “The two finalists coming to campus are very strong candidates and either one would be extremely qualified to lead the University.”

The curriculum vitae and a detailed biography for each candidate is available online on the UNH Web site at www.unh.edu and the University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Web site at www.usnh.edu.  In addition, copies of the biographical information will be available for review at the Dimond Library reference desk in Durham and at the UNH-Manchester library. 

As New Hampshire’s public university system, USNH presidential searches include a public phase once finalists have been selected.  This allows for an opportunity for individuals associated with each college or university to meet and interact with the candidates.  A third candidate selected as a finalist withdrew their name late last week because of concerns about having their name publicly released at this time. 

Each candidate will spend two days visiting with the UNH-Durham and UNH-Manchester communities. They will be participating in large and small group meetings, as well as one-on-one meetings.  Several of these meetings are open forums and provide opportunities for the university’s many constituencies to hear from and interact with the finalists. 

“These two finalists have strong academic backgrounds and have demonstrated themselves as very capable and competent leaders,” said Edward Dupont, vice chair of the USNH Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee.  “I look forward to seeing Dr. Burns and Dr. Cavanaugh engage with the numerous constituencies that comprise the UNH community during their upcoming visits.”

The schedule for the open forums is as follows:

Dr. John Cavanaugh

Monday, December 4

3:00 to 4:00 pm – Open Meeting for the UNH-Durham Community, Room 510, Dimond Library

4:00 to 5:30 pm – Open Forum for Students, Room 510, Dimond Library

Tuesday, December 5

10:00 to 11:30 am – Open Forum for Staff, Squamscott Room, Holloway Commons

12:30 to 1:30 pm – Open Forum for Faculty, Room 510 Dimond Library

4:00 to 5:30 pm – Open Meeting for UNH-Manchester Community, UNH Manchester Auditorium 

Dr. Jack Burns

Monday, December 11

3:00 to 4:00 pm – Open Meeting for the UNH-Durham Community, Room 510, Dimond Library

4:00 to 5:00 pm – Open Forum for Students, Room 510, Dimond Library

Tuesday, December 12

10:30 to 11:45 am – Open Forum for Staff, Squamscott Room, Holloway Commons

12:30 to 1:30 pm – Open Forum for Faculty, Room 510 Dimond Library

4:00 to 5:30 pm – Open Meeting for UNH-Manchester Community, UNH Manchester Auditorium 

Members of these groups are strongly encouraged to participate in the open forums and meetings.  For those individuals who are unable to attend, at least one meeting with each candidate will be videotaped and will be available to check out as DVDs from the Dimond Library reference desk in Durham and at the UNH-Manchester library.

After the candidate visits have been completed, the search committee will meet on December 15 to make final recommendations to the USNH Chancellor Stephen Reno.  Chancellor Reno will do a thorough review of the candidates and submit his recommendation to the USNH Board of Trustees as expeditiously as possible.  Following approval by the Board, the new president will take office as soon as they are available.  Given the positions of the two finalists, neither would likely start until the beginning of the 2007-08 academic year.

UNH Interim President J. Bonnie Newman has agreed to serve in this capacity until the new president is in place.  She has been interim president since the departure of Ann Weaver Hart in June 2006.