MIAMI — The search for a new president of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College has been narrowed to three candidates.

They include:

• Dr. Melissa K. Mahan, Vice President for Student Affairs, Texas A&M University-San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas

• Dr. R. Mark Rasor, Vice President for Fiscal Affairs, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, Miami (currently serving as Interim President)

• Dr. Kyle J. Stafford, Vice President of University Advancement, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant

The A&M Board of Regents will interview the finalists on Dec. 5. They hope to make a decision that day, chairman Tucker Link said.

The finalists will meet with a variety of groups the preceding day on the NEO campus as part of the interview process, he said.

“We had a very strong pool of applicants and are especially pleased with these three finalists," Link said. “During this process it has become even more obvious that the future is very bright for NEO.”

Jarold Callahan, Chair of the Search Committee and a member of the A&M Board of Regents, praised the committee for its work.

"This is a time-consuming and important process," Callahan said. "I cannot say enough about the care and professionalism that has gone into finding the right candidate for this job. We are extremely grateful for the assistance provided by the members of the Search Committee."

The committee included representation from the Board of Regents, faculty, students, staff, administration, Miami and Grove communities and alumni of NEO.

The A&M Board of Regents meet Dec. 6 on the Langston University campus the day after the final interviews.

The new president will succeed Dr. Jeff Hale, who retired effective Sept. 1 after 11 years at NEO.