CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia University will soon begin laying the groundwork to find both an interim and permanent president who embrace the university's vision for the years ahead - just like outgoing leader Jim Clements.
WVU Board of Governors Chairman Jim Dailey said procedures are in place to form a search committee for an interim president "in the immediate near future."
When Mike Garrison announced his resignation as WVU's president in June 2008, an interim president was named a month later and served until Clements took over in June 2009.
Clements was named Clemson University's 15th president on Monday.
"With every little setback, you obviously move forward," Dailey said.
In its next president, the board will undoubtedly look for someone to advance its goals the same way Clements did.
Dailey said Clements understood how a public land-grant university changes lives "and he has brought people together to make that mission a very powerful one on our campus."
He also called him a "natural born leader."
"Since the hiring of Jim Clements in 2009, West Virginia University has experienced unprecedented success in many areas - private giving, enrollment, academics, research funding, health care, community service, economic development and so much more," Dailey said.
During Clements' tenure, the board endorsed the university's vision for the year 2020 that included strengthening academic programs and expanding student diversity.
"For the first time in a long time, everybody is on the same page and striving to accomplish what needs to be accomplished," Dailey said. "Because of Jim's leading, I think it will make us better and bigger as far as a unified group, as far as succeeding."
The university is in the midst of nearly $1 billion in construction projects on campus, its university health system and student housing. In a statement released to the WVU community on Monday, Clements said the projects "are building a better future for the generations that follow us."
Most financing for current projects will come from bond issues and donations.
The vision includes new buildings for engineering research, agriculture sciences and sports sciences, an addition to the law school, a new art museum, a new greenhouse and 200 added parking spots on the Evansdale campus.