JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A delegation of lawmakers is pushing for a longtime East Tennessee State University vice president to make a bid for the school’s top job.
Eleven lawmakers from across the region, including Sen. Rusty Crowe, Rep. Matthew Hill and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, sent a letter to Richard A. Manahan, vice president for university advancement and president, encouraging him to apply to become the ninth president of ETSU.
Current President Paul E. Stanton Jr. announced earlier this year he intends to retire from the post on Jan. 14, 15 years to the day since he became president in 1997.
Manahan, who has been at ETSU for 30 years, received the letter Saturday. Manahan told The Johnson City Press he was honored by the endorsement of the lawmakers.
The lawmakers said in the letter they thought it was important to voice their opinion early to the Tennessee Board of Regents, Chancellor John Morgan and Gov. Bill Haslam because of how important the school is to the region.
Lawmakers said Manahan meets all the requirements set forth recently by the TBR for the selection of the next ETSU president.
Among those criteria were that the candidate must hold a doctorate from an accredited institution, have a distinguished record of teaching in public higher education, have five years of administrative experience with significant decision-making responsibility and have an understanding of the Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010.
Crowe said the lawmakers did not want to overstep their bounds by suggesting Manahan become a candidate, but wanted to make sure the next president of ETSU understood all the school’s constituencies, the needs of the school and the resources it has.
“Dick Manahan’s done everything at that university for years and years and it just makes sense to us,” Crowe said.