Aug. 21, 2001 — The University of the Virgin Islands has officially begun the search for a successor to its retiring president, Orville Kean.
In June, Kean, 63, publicly announced his retirement, effective September 2002. In anticipation of his departure, the UVI Board of Trustees was briefed at its May meeting on presidential search practices by Dr. William Weary, a search consultant with the national Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
On Thursday, the UVI board announced the formation of a 12-member committee charged with conducting a "local and national" search for what will be the university's fourth president in its 39-year history.
The trustees will select that person from among five candidates recommended by the search committee, according to Auguste Rimpel Jr., board chair.
The search process is expected to take four to six months, Rimpel said. The vacancy will be advertised locally and nationally, with potential candidates invited to submit their resumes to the search committee.
The search committee is chaired by a UVI trustee, Eleanor Thraen, and includes representatives of the board, administration, faculty, students, alumni, UVI Foundation and the St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John communities.
In addition to Thraen, Roy Jackson, Alexander Moorhead and Henry Smock represent the board. Edward Thomas represents the UVI Foundation; Aubrey Washington, the faculty; Marthious Clavier, the student body; Vincent Samuels, the administration; Deanna Rogers, the alumni; and Eileen Petersen, Jose George and Beulah Dalmida-Smith, the communities of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John, respectively.
"We have tried our best to ensure as broad a representation as possible on this committee," Rimpel said. "We are looking forward to receiving a large number of both local and national applications."
After a similar local/national search, Kean was named UVI's third president in 1990. He joined the faculty as an assistant professor of mathematics in 1966, four years after the school’s founding. He went on to become an associate and then full professor of mathematics, vice chair of the Science and Mathematics Division, acting director of the Caribbean Research Institute, founding director of the Eastern Caribbean Center, academic dean of instruction, acting vice president for academic affairs, executive vice president and president.
Kean succeeded Arthur A. Richards, who served as president from 1980 to 1990. The first president of the then-College of the Virgin Islands was Lawrence C. Wanlass, who held the position from 1962, when the college was chartered, unti l980.
In 1999, the Board of Trustees approved a new organization and governance structure for UVI, making the second-ranking office that of senior vice president and provost, the position now held by Laverne Ragster. The other top officials are four vice presidents and two chancellors — one for each campus.


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