Governor's Top Aide Among Finalists For Usa Presidency

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The chief of staff of Gov. Kay Ivey, former U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, is among three finalists to become president of the University of South Alabama, the school said Thursday.

Bonner, who represented the Mobile area while in Congress, is the younger brother of former University of Alabama President Judy Bonner. Trustees at South Alabama will choose between him; Damon Andrew, the education dean at Florida State University; and Michael Tidwell, the immediate past president of the University of Texas at Tyler.

Bonner is the only candidate without an earned doctoral degree and his resume doesn't include experience in academic administration, although he served as vice chancellor for economic development of the three-campus University of Alabama System.

The chair of the South Alabama board, Jimmy Shumock, said members were “very pleased that our presidency was attractive to so many highly qualified candidates.”

Candidates will meet with members of the university community in October before a selection is made.

South Alabama had an enrollment of 13,136 students in the spring, according to its website. The university announced then-president Tony Waldrop's retirement in February.