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Drury's President Resigns

Drury's President has submitted his resignation. Michele Skalicky reports.

After nearly two years at the head of Drury University, President Dr. John Sellars has resigned. He'll remain in his position until May 31st.

Sellars says he made the decision based on personal reasons. He says it will give him the chance to pursue other career opportunities.

Following Sellars resignation, Springfield businessman and Drury adjunct professor Todd Parnell was named the university's interim president beginning June 1st.

"I'm honored and I'm humbled by the challenge of representing Drury in a leadership role for the next 12 months. I'm a grad of Drury and feel very deeply and personal about it and hope I can help."

Parnell says his focus will be on the community, both Drury and the greater Springfield community, as he leads the university on an interim basis over the next several months.

"Within that context, I would say communication will be the key issue that I will focus on."

Todd Parnell says he was surprised when Dr. Sellars announced Monday that he was resigning from his position as Drury president.

"I was caught off guard by the process, and I think even more surprised when I got the call from John Beurlein, our chairman, asking me to consider to take the job."

Drury officials say Parnell will work closely with Sellars during the transition period. Parnell says Dr. Sellars served Drury well as he led the university for nearly two years.

"John Sellars is a fine man, and he threw his whole his heart and soul into Drury during the two years he was there and took very little vacation, devoted all of his energies to addressing some of the challenges Drury faced and getting on the right track. I'm proud of what Dr. Sellars has accomplished in his two years."

Drury's Board of Trustees chair John Beurlein says work to find the next Drury president will begin immediately.

Drury trustee Rick Lester of Colorado Springs, CO, has agreed to lead the search process.

The presidential search committee will be composed of faculty, students, staff, administrators, alumni and board members.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.