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Search committee to forward one name for Dickinson State University president

A search committee has decided to forward one name to the state Board of Higher Education – for president of Dickinson State University.

The Committee had earlier picked two: Thomas Mitzel, from Trinity College in Connecticut, and Daniel Hanson from Peru State College in Nebraska. But Hanson withdrew. And the search committee decided today – on a 7 to 4 vote – to forward Mitzel’s name.

Some committee members suggested going back into the original pool – and forwarding other names. Donna Joyce is a member of that committee. She’s on the Dickinson State staff. She supported forwarding only Mitzel’s name.

"This university is in a place right now where we need unity, not division," said Joyce. "The candidates that we submitted to the board, we all agreed on. The remaining candidates, we were divided on. We cannot have a divided campus. We can't."

James McCormick is a senior associate with AGB Search, and he was the consultant. He argued against having more names.

"Remember, if it looks like a failed search, there might be more people who are wondering why," said McCormick. "We would need to have a good, honest story about why. I think it would be better if you can come to a consensus now, and get it to the Board to make a decision, and get our person there as soon as we can."

McCormick says he talked with Mitzel -- and he says Mitzel is still very interested in that position.

The full Board meets next Wednesday in Dickinson to consider the Committee recommendation. Board member Kari Reichert – the search committee chair – says she will make the case for Mitzel at the board meeting.

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