Southern University System President Ronald Mason has been named a finalist in the search for the University of the District of Columbia’s next president.

Mason is slated to be on the UDC campus April 3 for interviews. Two other finalists for the job will interview this week and April 10, according to the university.

Mason’s pursuit of other opportunities doesn’t come as a surprise. His contract at Southern University will run through June 30, and the system Board of Supervisors has set out on a search for a new leader, after opting not to try to renew Mason’s contract.

“If selected I would be university president and head of the HBCU system of higher learning that serves the nation’s capital,” Mason said of being one of three finalists for the UDC job. “It has the usual challenges, but it also has the potential to be something special in higher education. Being part of a team that helps it reach that potential would be good work to do.”

UDC is similar to Southern University — but smaller. Both are public, historically black colleges and land-grant universities. In addition to its main university operations, UDC has a law school and community college. The total enrollment is about 5,200, compared to the SU System’s 12,400.

The other finalists for the UDC job are Malcolm X College President Anthony Munroe and Bennet College President Emerita Julianne Malveaux.

Meanwhile, the committee searching for a new leader for Southern University, under a newly merged president and chancellor role, hopes to name someone by July 1.

Mason became the SU System president in 2010. He previously served as president of Jackson State University.

Follow Elizabeth Crisp on Twitter @elizabethcrisp. For more coverage of Louisiana state government and politics, follow our Politics blog at http://blogs.theadvocate.com/politicsblog .