SALT LAKE CITY – Three finalists have been chosen as the potential successor of Dixie State University President Dr. Stephen Nadauld. The candidates hail from Jacksonville University, Indiana State University, and the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nadauld announced in October 2013 that he was retiring at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Following an extensive nationwide search and review of applicants conducted by the 22-member DSU President Search Committee, the three finalists announced Friday are:
- Dr. Don Capener, Dean and McGehee Endowed Chair in the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University in Florida
- Dr. Reid L. Neilson, Managing Director of the Church History Department of the LDS Church
- Dr. Richard Williams, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University
“The Dixie State University Presidential Search Committee is proud to recommend the names of these three finalists to the Board of Regents,” said Regent Wilford Clyde, Search Committee Chair, “the involvement of DSU’s trustees, faculty, students and staff, along with the larger community, has been invaluable during this search. We look forward to the Regents having the opportunity to fully consider these candidates in choosing a new leader for DSU.”
The finalists will be at DSU July 16-17, next Wednesday and Thursday, to meet privately with groups representing faculty, staff, students and administration and be interviewed by the Board of Regents. The regents may then hold a meeting at 4 p.m. on Thursday to choose the next university president, or choose to meet at a later date.
About the finalists
Dr. Don Capener was appointed Dean and McGehee Endowed Chair in the Davis College of Business at Jacksonville University in Florida in 2011. In this position he has raised $1.5 million to launch a new doctoral program and $1 million to enrich the online platform delivery and hybrid education options. He designed a successful corporate engagement strategy and implemented a graduate recruitment plan that resulted in a 30 percent increase in enrollment. Capener worked 11 years at Monmouth College in Illinois, where he served as Vice President for Strategic Planning, Technology, and the Chief Marketing Officer. Capener was also the Interim Vice President of Enrollment, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, and Associate Professor of Marketing. He was selected as Professor of the Year in 2006 and received the Hatch Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005. Capener also has significant private sector experience, serving as co-founder of Above the Rim, General Manager for three international marketing agencies and Vice President of Marketing for Netcentives, a Silicon Valley start-up.
Dr. Reid Larkin Neilson has worked as the managing director of the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2010. He oversees its global operations, its strategic planning, and a staff of 900 employees and volunteers. Previously he was an assistant professor of church history at Brigham Young University, where he won the University Young Scholar Award for his excellence in writing and teaching. Neilson is the author and editor of over 20 academic books, many published by leading university presses, including Oxford and Columbia. He also worked as a business consultant for Arthur Andersen LLP.
Dr. Richard “Biff” Williams has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Indiana State University since 2013. Prior to this, Williams served as the founding Dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services at Indiana State University. As Dean, he led the development of six new degree programs designed to address the state’s critical shortage of healthcare workers. Previously a faculty member at the University of Northern Iowa, he served in roles such as Associate Dean of the College of Education, Executive Associate Director of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services, Chair of the Division of Athletic Training, and program director. At Northern Iowa he helped create a private-public partnership between the local hospital, medical community, and university that resulted in the construction of a two-story human performance center that served the surrounding rural communities.
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