LIMA — Dr. Cynthia Spiers, the interim president of Rhodes State College, can take the interim tag off her title.
Spiers was announced Wednesday, as the new president, replacing Dr. Debra McCurdy, who left in April to take the president’s job at Baltimore City Community College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Spiers bested Dr. David Devier, who was the other finalist for the position. A third finalist, Dr. Lauri White, dropped out when she accepted another job.
Board chair Dr. Jane Krites made the announcement before faculty and students in a morning news conference.
“As far as the president, the new president of Rhodes State, you made it very apparent who you wanted to be president. There’s no secret about that. As far as standards for college searches for president it was not long. There many times that it takes a year, year and a half to find a college president but we wanted to do due diligence in a search. We wanted to go out and to talk to people. We did. We talked to all segments of the population,” Krites said.
Ultimately it was Dr. Spiers that impressed the board the most.
“We think we came up with the best possible candidate and that person was named last night and voted on by the board of directors. We offered the position to that person last night, and that person was able to be with us this morning. So I would like to introduce the next president of Rhodes State College, and that person is Dr. Cynthia Spiers.”
The announcement was met with thunderous applause.
“Wow. Last night when it was announced, I wasn’t sure if I was going to cry, or and I told Jane if I could do backflips, which I can’t anymore I will do them all the way down the hall. I will tell you if I get teary-eyed during my little talk here with you, understand it’s because I love all of you, and I love this institution,” Spiers said.
Reaction from faculty was positive.
“I find what Dr. Spiers brings to the institution is a history with the institution, commitment to the students at the institution and to the employees at the institution and that’s going to what’s going to transform us moving forward,” said Tonette Baldin, vice president of workforce development and innovation at Rhodes State.
Spiers addressed some of the challenges facing the institution.
“We have put together some truly strategic initiatives to address enrollment, which is an issue across the nation but we believe that the with the help of the cabinet and the different departments and the strategies that we’ve put in place that we will come out better as we move forward,” said Spiers.
A compensation package for Spiers is still being worked out.
“We have to meet to do the final work with the Secretary of State’s office, draw out the formal contract. We have no anticipation they’ll be any problem with having a firm contract,” said Krites.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.