Semi-Finalists Selected for McNeese Presidential Search

BATON ROUGE – The McNeese State University Presidential Search Committee selected four semi-finalists at its meeting today. The semi-finalists will be extended invitations to interview with the committee publicly on the Lake Charles campus next week, as well as take part in a series of meetings with campus constituency groups. A full schedule of meetings will be finalized Friday afternoon.

“The quality of the candidate pool speaks to the attractiveness of McNeese State University. After much review and intense discussion, there were four candidates who stood out as exceptional. These four have top-level higher education experience at diverse institutions and come from all parts of the country. The committee has its work cut out as we get to know each of these individuals and solicit feedback from the campus community,” said University of Louisiana System President and McNeese Search Committee Chair Randy Moffett.

The semi-finalists are:

  • Jeanne Daboval, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at McNeese State University. Daboval earned a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University.
  • Linda K. Rinker, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Western Connecticut State University. Rinker earned a Doctor of Education at Columbia University.
  • David Svaldi, President of Adams State University. Svaldi earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Northwestern University.
  • Philip Williams, President of the University of Montevallo. Williams earned a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University.


Starting Monday, each semi-finalist will spend an entire day on campus interacting with the search committee and university groups such as faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members. At the end of the four days, the search committee plans to deliberate and recommend at least two candidates to the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, who will make the final selection.

The 13-member search committee is comprised of UL System Board Members Paul Aucoin, Elsie Burkhalter, E. Gerald Hebert, Renee Lapeyrolerie, Jimmy Long, Sr., Russell Mosely, Carl Shetler, Winfred Sibille, Student Board Member Steven Jackson and McNeese faculty representative Linda Larson.  Non-voting members are McNeese Student Government Association President Tim Rye and community representative Bob Davidson.  UL System President Randy Moffett serves as the non-voting chair.

Candidate applications, the meeting schedules and other information can be found on the search website,

To submit questions and comments to the committee, you can send an email to

Established in 1939, McNeese is classified as a Carnegie Master’s University. The University enrolls over 8,600 students and primarily serves the five-parish region of Southwest Louisiana.