Technology Key to UNF Job Finalist

By MacDonald, Mary | The Florida Times Union, June 5, 1998 | Go to article overview
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Technology Key to UNF Job Finalist


MacDonald, Mary, The Florida Times Union


Kendall Blanchard is an anthropologist, an expert in American

Indian culture whose publications have titles like The

Mississippi Choctaws at Play: The Serious Side of Leisure and

The Anthropology of Sport: An Introduction.

As vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of

Tennessee at Martin, he is acknowledged as an authority on the

use of technology in college instruction.

Blanchard, one of four finalists for the job of University of

North Florida president, is candid enough to describe the

interview process as a courtship.

"These things are like marriages," said Blanchard, 55. "We're

in a courtship phase right now."

He is not sure he wants the position, he said Tuesday, shortly

before his interview, but is intrigued enough to investigate

further.

This afternoon, an advisory committee that conducted

interviews with the finalists this week, and a selection

committee named by the Board of Regents will meet to consider

the strengths of the candidates. The regents expect to make a

choice on June 12.

Blanchard's supporters say he possesses the combination of

academic and administrative experience and personal

characteristics needed in a university president.

He has unquestionable academic credentials, said Bryant

Millsaps, former director of the Tennessee Higher Education

Commission.

That is important if he is to be taken seriously on campus. But

he is not such an academic that he can't connect with people of

diverse backgrounds, Millsaps said.

Blanchard lived for months on American Indian reservations in

the West, conducting research.

But he also moves with ease among chief executive officers of

major corporations, said Millsaps, who first worked with

Blanchard at Middle Tennessee State University.

"He exudes confidence and he makes you want to follow him,"

Millsaps said. "If he doesn't become a president at the

University of North Florida, it is just a matter of where he

will become president."

Blanchard moved from the role of professor to administrator at

Middle Tennessee, where he became chairman of the Department of

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work in 1978.

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