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9 May 2008

JSU President Out as Candidate
for Valdosta State Job

By Dan Whisenhunt
Star Staff Writer

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Jacksonville State University President Bill Meehan contacted The Star Thursday to say he is no longer being considered for the president’s job at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga.

Meehan completed two days worth of interviews at VSU last week. He said the search firm who contacted him about the job called him to say he was no longer being considered by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents.

A spokesman for the board said he could not confirm Meehan is no longer a candidate, however.

Meehan says he has four more years on his contract as JSU president and said he is not actively seeking other work. He did say if someone were to contact him about a job, like the VSU-employed search firm did, he would consider it.

“If I’m approached by a school where I think my skills would fit I might consider that,” Meehan said.

Meehan said he did not know why he was ultimately ruled out from the five other candidates for the job; he did not think it had anything to do with last year’s plagiarism charges, which hit the student newspaper at VSU before he arrived.

In that case, material published under Meehan’s byline in two weekly newspapers owned by Consolidated Publishing, The Star’s parent company, included material lifted from third-party Web sites, without credit.

The university said retired JSU spokesman Al Harris regularly wrote the columns, which were credited in the newspapers to Meehan. Harris no longer works for the university. The columns still are published under Meehan’s name, with other contributors often credited.

JSU Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Bennett said the Georgia Board of Regent’s decision was “good news for Jacksonville State.”

“This does not change our relationship with him in any manner,” Bennett said.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt covers K-12 schools and higher education for The Star.

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