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Last But Not Least: The Final Presidential Candidate

(The Verge) – Wednesday, February 6th marked the final meeting with the Presidential Finalists. Dr. Stanley C. Preczewski, known as “Stas” and a Hudson county NJ native, met with the Monmouth faculty and staff earlier in the day, and then again in Wilson Auditorium at 5pm.
Stas’ initial reaction to meeting with the students was hoping there would be many more in attendance, because choosing a new university President affects the students most significantly. However, he greeted those in attendance warmly, asking simply, “How may I help you? What do you want to know?”
The first question was a familiar one to those students who have attended all the presidential Q&A sessions, and it concerned a President’s visibility on campus, and how Stas felt about it.
He explained his answer by talking about the close relationship he had with Evan, the SGA President of Georgia College & State University, while he served as the Interim President last year. He’s also very involved on campus and always reaches out to help students in need.
In particular, there was a tragic accident last year, in which several students passed away. Stas was available at midnight to help the student’s parents and family. Currently, the candidate is writing a letter of recommendation to help the surviving daughter of this family be accepted into graduate school. Whether it’s midnight or 3am, he would go the extra mile for anyone on campus, in his words.
Whether it’s an intramural game or a chess club meeting, he will be in attendance, he assured. As long as he is invited or it is a public event, he would go anywhere to help support. He admitted to have screamed loudly at a missed foul shot during MU’s women’s basketball game on February 2nd.
The only cell phone that Stas owns has approximate 15,000 contacts. Every student orientation when he greets students, the first slide on his power point presentation shows his cell phone number. As long as students do not abuse this privilege, he will help anyone in need.
A president has the responsibility to fund-raise and ensure the university’s reputation. So the Georgia Gwinnett VP explained

Dr. Stanley C. Preczewski visited the campus as the final candidate in consideration for the university’s top position. Image taken from: Google Images.

that the only reason he has a job is because of students, so they are his greatest responsibility. He admitted that words are cheap today, but taking a look at his past behavior and achievements can attest to his hard work and dedication to students.
Stas’ opinion on Greek life is that it serves a purpose, and he has no problem with it. He took part in Greek life and his son does as well. There is evidence that fraternity and sorority members have higher GPA’s and better retention rates. Greek life allows students to be more involved and engaged, as long as it is kept under control and regulated, he said.
One student asked if there was anything he noticed in the time he’s been on campus that needs attention or changing. He feels that the dining facilities have great quality food, and Aramark does a good job, however he mentioned that the facilities “could use some freshening up” and more modernization.
After talking to students Stas also found that there seems to be a high number of part time faculty members at Monmouth. He believes, and the students in attendance agree, that there should be more full time faculty employed instead.
As a student, an important part of choosing a college or university to attend is feeling as though you fit in; this is true for the President as well. To describe the President’s relationship with their university, Stas compared it to a marriage or a ten-year long date. He said that this romance with the university could even continue on after the Presidency, as former Presidents stay involved and show support.
Stas said he knows from experience that he can succeed in the places he goes and he can improve where he works. After about an hour and a half interview with the search committee, “I was really thrilled…I was really excited,” he said.
He could thrive here at Monmouth University. The campus is clean, modern, and historic at the same time. There is no other campus in the country that has a building like Wilson. “There’s a lot of magic here,” said Stas.
After going to events at Monmouth over the past few days, and meeting students, faculty, staff, the facilities, Stas said, “Right now, I would ask you out on a second date.”
Visiting Monmouth’s campus gets you hooked, Stas said. The buildings, gardens, and the MAC are phenomenal. Although there are not many people attending the games, between the fans and the pep band there is a lot of energy, said Stas.
In comparison to the other Presidential candidates, Stas cannot know how he measures up to them, because they have never met, but he invites students to look at his accomplishments and where he has accomplished them. He’s been a head athletic coach, the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs, a tenured faculty member, the Interim President of a University, a military officer, and he has attained multiple degrees.
Presently, Stas is the VP for Academic and Student Affairs at Georgia Gwinnett College, an institution that he helped create. From 2011-2012 he served as the Interim President at Georgia College & State University, where he was asked to stay permanently. In Georgia, an interim President cannot be hired full-time, but he still passed up on appeals to this rule because he needed to return to his position at the young Georgia Gwinnett College.
Preczewski, nicknamed “Stas” seemed quite content with the MU campus and the influx of student questions towards him. Image taken from:

These past experiences and a list of Stas’ other qualifications are listed and described in his Curriculum Vitae.
Although his background is extensive, Stas said that he does not need credit for his accomplishments. He would rather spend time getting ready for the next success. “You will never see me running towards the camera,” said Stas. He would rather see student and faculty pictures, and he says that there may only two photos of him available online from his time as a President.
Stas said that his roles at other universities have given him practical information to bring with him to Monmouth. He described it as having a huge tool bag with him to help fix things.
Stas admitted that he would be perfectly happy continuing the position he is in now, but “I’ll have missed an opportunity to thrive and have a lot more fun.”