Search for Next A&M President Still Expansive

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With the search for Texas A&M's next president in the hands of the System Board of Regents, even more than the final three recommendations of the search advisory committee are under consideration.

In fact, System Chancellor Michael McKinney says the regents have asked for the names of the final ten candidates looked at by the advisory committee so they can consider even more people.

Plus, McKinney says the regents are bringing their own personal recommendations to the table, meaning the search that once included 143 candidates at the advisory committee level is once again a substantial list.

McKinney stresses that while they did a fine job in their months-long role, the search advisory committee was just that, a body for advising in the search for A&M's next president, and that the final call will come from the regents.

The byproduct of what has been an intentionally veiled search has become an ever-churning rumor mill, one which includes an e-mail being circulated within the ranks for some former students, an e-mail which claims all three of the advisory committee's recommendations have withdrawn from the running. McKinney says no such thing has happened.

The chancellor also confirms that Interim President Eddie Davis is still very much in the running to permanently hold the presidency. McKinney says he and the regents have been satisfied with how Davis has handled the role.

According to the chair of the search advisory committee, A&M professor Doug Slack, the three unranked recommendations they gave to the regents were all sitting presidents of public institutions. He added that one of the three was considered among the top five presidents in the nation by their peers, but that all three were very recognizable leaders.

Whoever is chosen follows Robert Gates, who left Texas A&M in December after being picked by President Bush to head up the Department of Defense.