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Applicant says college in 'delicate' period
A crowd greeted Bruce Murphy, vice president for academic affairs at the U.S. Air Force Air University in Montgomery, Ala., during a public forum Wednesday.

Murphy is the fourth candidate for college president to address the school in a campus forum.

The fifth and final candidate, Robert McGehee, graduate school dean at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, will speak at 3:45 p.m. Friday in Room 102 of the Jones Building on the Brunswick campus of the College of Coastal Georgia.

The search committee looking for a replacement for college president Valerie Hepburn, who will leave at the end of the academic school year, will make a recommendation following the forums. Final selection will be made by the board of regents of the University System of Georgia.

Murphy said he is impressed with the college.

"As a commissioner for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, I noticed this college among many and its actions to move forward. I was impressed and this college has been stuck in my head since before you were even looking for a president," Murphy told the crowd.

Having been a professor, dean and director, as well as serving in other positions, he feels prepared to lead the College of Coastal Georgia.

"I'd gotten to a point where I started asking the people I knew in higher education, people I respected, whether they thought I was ready for the next level of academic leadership, and they all came back and said yes. So I started looking," Murphy said.

"When I took a further look here, I found out that there is a great team here. There's a lot of energy here."

A former professor and dean of a business school, he feels his experience in organizational leadership, communication and management will aid him in guiding the college through the next decade and beyond.

"You have to involve the entire college community in a discussion on change, and you have to stop and take notice of where we are," he said. "After taking the great leap (into the four-year institution), you're in a delicate period here."

He already has a vision for one facet of the college.

"I'd like to continue to add student activities and athletic programs and facilities based on if it fits with the school's vision and needs," he said.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswick, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

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