Southern University’s 10-person committee to search for an athletic director will be chaired by Doze Butler, Southern Chancellor James Llorens said Tuesday.

Butler is the interim dean of Southern’s College of Agricultural, Family and Consumer Sciences. He was recently appointed to the NCAA’s Champions/Sports Management Cabinet, which is a group that oversees drug testing and education, NCAA rules and Olympic sports issues.

Southern is beginning a search for a new athletic director at a time when the department is dealing with funding deficits, student-athlete graduation standards and off-the-field issues.

Former Southern Athletic Director Greg LaFleur was fired in April after being arrested in Houston on a misdemeanor prostitution count.

LaFleur is currently suing the university for wrongful termination.

Women’s basketball coach Sandy Pugh is serving as the interim athletic director.

Chancellor Llorens said Southern will not hire a private search firm to assist in the process. The goal is to hire a new athletic director by the end of December, but that the process could be extended if needed, he said.

The goal is to “deliberatively” choose the best person and not rush the process, Llorens said, adding that applications and nominations are beginning to trickle in.

In addition to Butler, the 10-person search committee appointed by Llorens is:

•?Jeffrey Conyers, Southern women’s tennis coach.

• Karen Couvillon, Southern women’s bowling coach.

• Demetrius Sumner, Southern Student Government Association president and student representative on the Southern Board of Supervisors.

• Earl Hill, Southern assistant athletic director

•?Dennis S. Brown, Southern University Alumni Federation national president.

•?Toni Jackson, Southern Staff Senate president.

•?Wilbert Jones, Southern assistant director of purchasing.

•?Henry Batiste, former long-time color commentator for Southern football radio broadcasts.

•?Jarel Handy, private industry engineer.

Llorens is scheduled to discuss the athletic director search and timeline on Friday with the Southern Board of Supervisors.

The Southern Board also is slated to vote on a $77 million university budget that includes a $625,000 increase in the university subsidy that helps the financially struggling athletic department, even with student athletic fees expected to increase this fall.

The Southern athletic department learned last week it was “certified with conditions” by the NCAA, which represents progress, but means more work remaining before the department is in the clear.

Southern was on a list of 28 universities to earn certification last week, though it was the only school to be certified with conditions.

Southern’s football and men’s basketball teams are currently on one-year postseason bans because of substandard scores in the Academic Progress Rate.