West Liberty University announced the selection of a new president this week. Dr. Stephen Greiner is currently the president of Hazard Community and Technical College in Kentucky, but he will take over as president at West Liberty in January.
Greiner originally hails from Weirton, West Virginia. In fact it was his sister, a Northern Panhandle area resident and West Liberty alumna, who brought the presidential search to his attention. Greiner says he wasn’t interested at first.
“Then I said, why wouldn’t I want to be here? This was the very first college campus I ever visited and set foot on. Maybe it’s time I serve the area where I grew up,” Greiner said during a meet-and-greet with community members, staff, faculty and students on campus.
The West Liberty Board of Governors selected Greiner unanimously. He has 14 years’ experience as a college president and 19 years as a professor. West Liberty professor Dr. Peter Staffel says he and many of the other faculty applaud the choice.
“We were nervous as a faculty that we had a short time to do this search and advertise it,” Staffel said. “The final four that they brought to us, each would have been a good president, I think, but each brought very different things and he brought the most. Without question I think he was the best candidate.”
Greiner steps into a position fraught with financial challenges but he says it’s the same reality all over the country.
“We’re seeing reduced state funding all around. I’m experiencing the same thing right now. But when you approach funding as a team and you involve everyone, it’s amazing the ideas employees, faculty and students will come up with.”
Greiner was selected from a pool of 40 applicants during a search that began seven months ago.