3 finalists to vie for head of Center of Southwest Studies

Fort Lewis College has narrowed its search for the next director of the Center of Southwest Studies. Three candidates will visit Durango this week and next.

Jay Harrison, a lecturer on European and Latin American history at Hood College Maryland and director of federal programs at a Virginia technology company, will visit Durango on Friday.

Charlene Porsild, an associate research professor in American Studies and assistant director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico, will visit on Wednesday.

Mark Shelstad, head of special collections at the University of Texas at San Antonio, will visit Durango on April 27.

All candidates will give a free, public presentation the day they visit. The presentations will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Center of Southwest Studies lyceum.

The director of the Center of Southwest Studies oversees the centerís roles as an educational and archival resource, library and museum. The job also involves providing fiscal oversight of the center and overseeing external fundraising activities and partnerships.

Former Center of Southwest Studies Director Kevin Britz died in January 2011 after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Ken Francis has been serving as interim director since that time. The search for his permanent replacement began in March.

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