The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University has announced the three finalists for university president who will visit campus next week for a series of town hall meetings and final interviews with the board.

EFL Associates, an executive search and recruitment firm based in Kansas City, helped conduct the search on behalf of the University’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee and Board of Governors.

More than 70 applications were received in the search for Missouri Southern’s sixth president. The new president will succeed Dr. Alan Marble, who will retire as of June 30.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, we are extremely pleased with the caliber of our finalists for the next president of Missouri Southern and the full Board unanimously approved this slate of finalist candidates after review of the applicants and supporting information,” said Alison Hershewe, vice chair of the Board of Governors and chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

The finalists are:

  • Frank “Mac” McConnell, who earned an Ed.D. from the University of Georgia, a Master’s from Mercer University, a Bachelor’s from North Georgia College and is currently the Senior Vice President for Business & Finance at the University of North Georgia.


  • William Tsutsui, who earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University, a Master’s from Princeton University, a Master’s from Oxford University, and a Bachelor’s from Harvard University and was most recently the President of Hendrix College (2014 to 2019).


  • Dean Van Galen, who earned a Ph.D degree from Kansas State University, a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and is currently the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

“I want to thank the members of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee for the time, energy, and thoughtful consideration they put into this effort,” said Hershewe.

“Each of them brought valuable and diverse points of view and greatly contributed to the process during challenging circumstances. Undertaking this process amid the COVID-19 pandemic, they utilized technology and innovative processes to ensure that committee meetings and candidate interviews were productive and continued on pace. The Committee members were excellent representatives of both Missouri Southern and our community. The Board is immensely grateful to each of them for sharing their insight, generous help, and service.”

Town halls have been scheduled for 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. on the following dates:



All sessions will be offered in Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium, with seating limited to 50 audience participants, in accordance with social distancing practices. They will also be offered virtually through Zoom and YouTube.

Each town hall session will begin with a 15-minute presentation by the candidate, followed by a 60-minute question-and-answer period. Questions were solicited from the campus and local community in advance. Those attending the in-person sessions will also have the opportunity to ask questions face-to-face and via the virtual platforms.

“Governor Hershewe has led the search for Southern’s next President with distinction,” said Bill Gipson, chair of the Board of Governors.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic much of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee’s work was completed using telephone and video conferencing. Governor Hershewe worked tirelessly to assure all committee members, advisers and candidates were fully engaged in the process.”

The next president will be named once the Board of Governors has completed the candidate interviews, completed its own deliberations and successfully completed contractual, compensation and benefit terms with the selected candidate.

For extended bios of each of the finalists, visit Please refer to for updated information as it becomes available.