The Kentucky Wesleyan College Board of Trustees is further along in its process to find the school's new leader after Bart Darrell resigned as the college's president June 1, and board chairman Phillip Shepherd saying he is hopeful the search will be wrapped up within the next 30 days.

Shepherd said the search is moving along and that the board is "very pleased with our progress at this point."

The board of trustees appointed a search committee in June to find the new college president. The committee consists of Shepherd; Sherry (Miller) Feldpausch, board of trustees chair-elect; Deborah (Carter) Dearing, board of trustees secretary; Jeff White, board of trustees treasurer; Dennis Jewett, board of trustees faculty representative; Sam Taylor, board of trustees alumni representative; Selena Coalter, board of trustees student representative; and Rebecca McQueen-Ruark, staff representative.

They also enlisted the help of Academic Search, a higher education executive search firm based in Washington, D.C.

"We are looking for the right fit with the school and with the community," Shepherd said.

He said about 100 candidates applied for the position, and they have been "whittling that field." He did not say how many candidates the committee is seriously considering at this time.

"We have narrowed the field to a small group of really top candidates," he said.

Shepherd said the search committee does not have a definitive timeline for naming the next KWC president, but the group hopes to be a position to wrap up the process "in the very near future."

Earlier in the search process, Shepherd said the board of trustees hoped to have a new president ready to come in by the end of this year or the first of next year.

"That's a realistic goal for us," he said.

For more information on the search committee visit https://kwc.edu/presidentialsearch/.

Former Western Kentucky University-Owensboro Chancellor Gene Tice was appointed to serve as the KWC president in the interim.

Darrell became the college's 34th president in September 2014 after serving as vice president of external services. Under his leadership, the university increased enrollment, overhauled their campus ministry program and developed The Wesleyan Way, which changed the school's brand and culture, according to a release sent by KWC.

At the time of his announcement, Darrell said there was no specific reason he was stepping down, but just that "sometimes you need to know when you think it's time for someone else to take it and build on what you've done."

"I owe just about everything that I've gotten to experience and achieve to Wesleyan," he said.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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