Wingate University may make an announcement as soon as next week about who its next president will be.
It’s been nearly a quarter century since the Union County university made such an announcement.
Last April, university President Jerry McGee said he was retiring as of this May. His 23 years of leading Wingate makes him the longest-tenured university president in the state, according to the university.
McGee, Wingate’s ninth president, also has served in that role longer than any of his predecessors.
Wingate has about 3,000 students split between its 400-acre main campus in Wingate, and campuses in Charlotte and Hendersonville. The private university was founded in 1896.
In a video message emailed to the university community, presidential search committee Chairman Tom Williams said the four finalists for the job will be at the university this week.
Williams, also a member of Wingate’s board of trustees, stated a decision on McGee’s successor could come within the next week. The board’s executive committee needs to approve the decision before an announcement is made.
The university declined to identify the finalists because of confidentiality agreements it made with them, and the finalists will have limited interaction with some faculty, students and staff. The four finalists are from higher education institutions in the Southeast.
The university had about 200 applicants for the job, Wingate spokesman Jeff Atkinson said.
McGee had initially planned to retire in December, but the board had asked him to remain until the end of the academic year in May.
McGee told the Observer last year that the timing felt right to retire. He said he wanted to spend more time with his family, and believed his successor would inherit a university that is in good shape.