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GSU hopeful speaks at public forum on campus
David Belcher is second candidate for president to visit university and speak to students, staff
091709 GSU PRESIDENT SEARCH 01 web
David Belcher of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock makes his case to be the next president of Georgia Southern University during Thursday's presentation at the Performing Arts Center. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    How serious is David Belcher about getting the job of president of Georgia Southern University?
    “I will pull for Georgia Southern (when they play Furman) if you give me this job,” said Belcher, a graduate of Furman University.
    That was the way the entire public forum went for Belcher, who was simultaneously celebrating his birthday. He is the second in a pool of candidates vying for the title of President of Georgia Southern University. He was introduced in a public forum meeting at Georgia Southern’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday. The current provost and vice chair of Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Belcher answered both the questions from the crowd and prepared questions from the Search and Screen Committee.
    “I can make a difference,” said Belcher when asked why he wanted the position at Georgia Southern. “I seek a commitment to excellence all over Georgia Southern.”
    Belcher added he liked the commitment Georgia Southern has with the community, and he thought it would be a great fit. He said he was also “pleased” from the energy surrounding sustainability, especially since the movement on campus has stemmed from students.
    Belcher added that he grew up about 65 miles from Statesboro, and the location was a good fit for him.
    When it comes to higher education, Belcher said society is served by the higher education of its people. He added that it produces graduates who are capable of living in a diverse world. It produces professionals who can meet the work needs. It produces research and breakthroughs in the areas.
    “One understands that the mission of the institute of higher education is very much wrapped up in our area, state and nation,” said Belcher.
     One admission Belcher made was the university system has become a master of attracting students, but he also said there was one thing they weren't so great at
    “We’re not very good at getting them out, and that’s not all the institution’s fault,” said Belcher, adding he liked that Georgia Southern allowed the students to own their education.
    Belcher added the answers for why the university system fails on its part were things such as seeking external funding, diversity and assessment.
    Georgia Southern has been looking for a replacement for reigning president Bruce Grube since he announced his impending retirement at the end of the year.
    Were you at the forum? Fill out an evaluation form at the Presidential Search 2009 at www.georgiasouthern.edu/presidentsearch.
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