We are a community of interims.
Columbus has an interim police chief, university president and school superintendent.
Starkville also has an interim superintendent of education.
Today, we expect Mississippi University for Women to be the first of these ships to name a full-time captain.
The methods of finding our captains have been many and varied.
The state College Board, on the surface, has kept the community involved in the MUW presidential search — from campus listening sessions to today’s series of meet-and-greets at the university.
But the prospective candidates have been a mystery, until Nov. 17, when they named Dr. Jim Borsig the preferred candidate.
Borsig currently serves as associate commissioner for external relations and public policy for the Institutions of Higher Learning.
Borsig, by all accounts, will provide a steady hand for The W.
Described as “smart, thoughtful and very well-organized,” those who know him say Borsig will quietly strengthen the relationship between the community and the university. It’s a relationship in need of romancing.
The city of Columbus reached out to the community in a different way, asking a slate of residents to vet resumes and submit their top picks.
Each step of process has played out in public, and it hasn’t always been pretty.
The superintendent searches in Columbus and Starkville are being handled behind closed doors by an outside agency — the Mississippi School Boards Association.
The applicants have been kept quiet, though we know interim Columbus Superintendent Martha Liddell wants the job.
There’s no word yet on if she is a finalist for the job.
Starkville Assistant Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin is being interviewed for the lead job at Starkville schools. But he is one of the top three choices for a superintendent job in Lafayette, La. In Starkville, he’s in the mix with more than 20 others.
Interim Starkville Superintendent Beth Sewell signed on with the understanding she would not be considered for the job full time. Interim MUW President Allegra Brigham did the same.
This afternoon, the College Board will give Borsig his captain’s hat or keep Brigham at the helm indefinitely.
We’d like to offer some piece of wisdom to the public bodies entrenched in these searches, as we watch them struggle with these challenges. But there is just no right way to conduct such a search. What matters is who ends up steering the ship when its all over.
So the best we can do is to wish MUW and Borsig well, if he is tapped as the next president; it seems obvious he will be. We also hope the best for the city of Columbus and Columbus and Starkville schools, as their searches continue.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.