CSU's Tim Mescon finalist for president's post at Eastern Washington

Columbus State University President Tim Mescon is one of three finalists for the president’s job at Eastern Washington University.

Mescon will be interviewing at the 12,000-student university Thursday and Friday.

“At this stage of my life, I can not ignore opportunities when they arise,” said Mescon, 59.

The other two finalists are Mary Cullinan, Southern Oregon University president, and Rex Fuller, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Eastern Washington. All of the interviews are scheduled to take place over the next week and a half with Mescon the first to be interviewed.

The university announced the finalists earlier this month.

Eastern Washington University is a regional, comprehensive public university located in Cheney, about 15 miles from Spokane. It also offers programs in Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Seattle, Shoreline, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Yakima.

Mescon interviewed with the university’s search committee about a month ago. He formally applied for the job in a letter dated April 8.

He was one of about 60 applicants.

Mescon, an Atlanta native, has spent the last 24 years in the University System of Georgia. He was dean of Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business. The last six years he has been president of Columbus State.

The opening was created by the retirement of Rodolfo Arevalo, who has been Eastern Washington’s president since 2006.

Mescon said when he started his research on Eastern Washington he did not know much about the university.“I mostly knew about Colin Cowherd,” he said of the ESPN radio and television personality who attended the university. “I did not know a lot, but I know a lot more about it now.”

Mescon said Eastern Washington is a comprehensive public university that is similar to where he has spent the bulk of his 35-year career in higher education.

“It is very much a comprehensive public university with a broad range of academic programs,” he said.

Mescon will be traveling from Hilton Head, S.C., where he has been representing Columbus State at the Peach Belt Conference annual meeting.

“You never know how these searches will go,” Mescon said. “We have a lot of positive things happening right now at Columbus State University.”