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Search committee hold first round of semi-finalist interviews

November 8, 2017

On Nov. 7, the presidential search committee held public interviews for two of the six semi-finalists for
the presidency in the ballroom of the Student Union.

The committee interviewed Shawn Mauldin at 2:45 p.m. and Wade Rousse at 4:30 p.m. The University
of Louisiana System had a group of panelists that could each ask the candidates one question.

In his opening statement, Mauldin stated that he wants “a president that will move [the] university
forward.” Rousse stated that he is “ready to come home and lead our university through these
challenging economic times.”

The committee asked each candidate to explain what they felt the strengths of Nicholls are. Both
candidates stressed that one of Nicholls’ biggest assets is the region in which it is located. Faculty and
staff was another area both candidates agreed is a strength.

Mauldin stated that “natural resources” are also a strength, while Rousse explained that the many
different programs that Nicholls offers makes the university very unique.

Mauldin said he believes it is important to interact with the students since this profession “is all about
the students.” He also explained that there “should be no disconnect.” He said that in order to solve this
problem, he would implement student advisory groups that would be allowed to ask questions.

Mauldin said he believes that he could be a great asset in moving Nicholls forward. He said Nicholls
needs to become a destination spot and that, if it were to become one, then hopefully its enrollment
would grow. He also stated that the “community needs Nicholls State University.”

Rousse said he believes in the importance of athletics and explained that athletics had a major impact
on his life. He stated that they “can help increase marketing and enrollment.”

In order to address low morale at Nicholls, he said he would listen more to concerns and “work towards
a common goal.” He said he believes that fundraising is one of the most important tasks of the next
president of Nicholls. In order to raise funds, he would implement leadership teams.

Budget cuts and faculty turn-over were notable issues of the interviews. Mauldin said he believes with
his “fiscal management skills” he would be an asset and hopefully be able to raise funds to help the
university.

When discussing faculty turn-over, Rousse explained that, while salaries are unfortunately low right
now, he would like to think that “brighter days are ahead” and hopefully the turnover rate would
improve.

Mauldin had pointed out that the university is currently down some faculty members.

The audience was allowed to ask a variety of questions for both candidates.

Mauldin was questioned about any potential budget cuts, and he stated that he has “no immediate
plans” to cut academics.

Rousse was asked if he had any plans on saving the Nicholls yearbook. He stated that it is important for
Nicholls to have a yearbook because of all the memories that are placed in them. He also stated that he
doesn’t know if “we can have an institution without a yearbook.”

Both candidates also said they believe that Nicholls has great potential to provide opportunities and
change students’ lives.

Public interviews will continue on Nov. 8 starting at 9:00 a.m.

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