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|Cofer says he's a finalist for Missouri State job|
University of Louisiana-Monroe President James Cofer says he is a finalist for the president's job at Missouri State University.
Cofer also says he and his wife Deborah will visit Springfield, Missouri, this week for a round of interviews. According to a Missouri State University Web site, Cofer is scheduled to interview Tuesday, May 11, and Wednesday, May 12.
Information concerning Cofer's interest in the Missouri State job was disclosed Sunday in an email Cofer sent to university employees. The Ouachita Citizen obtained a copy of the email late Sunday afternoon.
"As you know, I strive to share news with the ULM community first, and with that in mind, I would like to inform you of a personal development," Cofer said in a "dear colleagues" email.
"Recently I was asked to consider candidacy for Missouri State University's next president," Cofer continued. "When I was named a finalist for the position, Deborah and I decided to visit Springfield next week for a series of interviews. Clearly our successes through improvements in shared governance, the development of both our physical and intellectual infrastructure and the collaborative efforts for addressing the budget situation were instrumental in the invitation from Missouri State."
"I ask you now for your continued support and prayers as Deborah and I deliberate the most appropriate course of action for our family," Cofer concluded.
Cofer is no stranger to Missouri. He once worked at the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Its main campus located in Springfield, Missouri, Missouri State University was founded in 1905. It claims an enrollment of almost 23,000. Besides its main campus in Springfield, Missouri State also operates campuses in Mountain Grove and West Plains, Missouri, as well as in Dalian, China.
With nearly 4,000 faculty and staff members, Missouri State offers 150 undergraduate majors and 45 graduate programs. The average ACT of an incoming freshman in 2009 was 24.0.
Missouri State's mascot is the Bears. The university competes in Division I athletics.
Since arriving at ULM in 2002 to serve as president, Cofer, a native of Mississippi, has interviewed for a number jobs in higher education including the president's position at Mississippi State University and commissioner of higher education in Mississippi. He was passed over for both positions in his home state.