Another secret search

In coming days, Mississippi’s College Board will announce its presumptive next president of Jackson State University.

As with all the presidential searches at the state’s public universities for the past decade, only a small group of people will know why this candidate was considered the best of all who applied. That’s because the names of the other finalists are a state secret.

It’s a bad way to fill such an important job.

There will be no outside vetting, no serious attempts at getting public buy-in other than some last-minute window-dressing. Everyone will cross their fingers that whoever gets the job will be able to be successful at a school that has been plagued by recent financial controversy.

Mississippi didn’t use to do it this way, and many states still don’t. They release at least the names of a handful of finalists before a selection is made.

That’s what Mississippi should do, too.


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