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Eastern New Mexico University’s Board of Regents announced five finalists for president at their meeting on Monday morning, March 20. 


Finalists will be visiting ENMU campuses (Portales, Roswell and Ruidoso) the week of April 3 to interview with students, faculty, staff and administrators. The regents will announce their decision on or before April 17.

Presidential finalists include Sandra K. Woodley, consultant and assistant to the president at Kentucky State University; Neal R. Weaver, vice president for Advancement and Innovation at Nicholls State University in Louisiana; John Fritch, dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences at the University of Northern Iowa; J.S. (Jeff) Elwell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga; and Charles T. Crespy, dean of the College of Business Administration, Central Michigan University. 

Current president Steven G. Gamble has led the University for 16 years, and will retire this summer.  

For more information, contact Patrice Caldwell, executive director of Planning and Analysis, at 575.562.2315.

Dr. Charles T. Crespy

Since 2010, Dr. Charles Crespy has served as the dean of the College of Business Administration at Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant, Mich.). He previously served as dean of the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico (2004-07), and as dean of the College of Business at the University of Texas at El Paso (2001-04). Dr. Crespy holds a Ph.D. in international management, master’s degrees in Latin American studies and business administration, and a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies, all from the University of New Mexico.

 Dr. J. S. Elwell

Since 2012, Dr. Jeff Elwell has served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Prior to this position, he was provost and special assistant to the chancellor for strategic initiatives at Auburn University from 2010 to 2012. From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Elwell served as the founding dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at East Carolina University. He chaired the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Nebraska from 1999-2004 and at Marshall University (1996-99). Dr. Elwell holds a Ph.D. in speech communication/theatre from Southern Illinois University, a master’s degree in communication/theatre from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and a bachelor’s in English from California State University-Bakersfield.

Dr. John Fritch

Dr. John Fritch has served as the interim dean and dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Science at the University of Northern Iowa since January 2014. Prior to that and currently, he serves as the University of Northern Iowa’s director of forensics (2013-present). Dr. Fritch was the associate dean of the College from 2010-14, and he served as the department head of Communication Studies from 2002-10. Prior to coming to the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. Fritch was the director of forensics at Southwest Missouri State University from 1992-2002. He has served as the director of the National Debate Tournament from 2004 to 2015. Dr. Fritch earned his Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Kansas in communication studies. He received a bachelor’s degree in speech communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Neal R. Weaver

Dr. Neal Weaver is vice president for Advancement and Innovation at Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, La.), a position he has held since 2014. He supervises the areas of advancement, enrollment management and athletics. Prior to this position, he served as executive director of the Nicholls State University Foundation. From 2008 to 2014, he was vice president for Institutional Advancement at West Texas A&M University (Canyon, Texas). Before joining West Texas A&M, Dr. Weaver was vice president for University Relations (2004-08) at Northeastern State University (Tahlequah, Okla.). Dr. Weaver holds a Ph.D. in organizational leadership from the University of Oklahoma, a master’s of business administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and a bachelor of arts in speech/communications from Oklahoma Panhandle State University.  

Dr. Sandra K. Woodley

Dr. Sandra Woodley currently serves as a consultant with Kentucky State University as they transition to a new president. From 2013-16, she served as president of the University of Louisiana System. From 2010-13, she was vice chancellor for strategic initiatives at the University of Texas System. Prior to that, she was the strategic planner and chief financial officer for the Arizona University System (2007-10); vice president of finance, planning and performance for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (2003-07); and associate executive director (1999-2003) and senior financial analysis (1994-2000) of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.  Dr. Woodley holds a doctorate in business administration-management from Nova Southeastern University, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration from Auburn University.

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