Southern University’s search for a new president and chancellor is now down to two finalists, after one person said he’s no longer interested in the job.

Chicago Family Health CEO Barrett Hatches was among the six people who interviewed for the newly merged position last month — winning over the search panel by highlighting his business background. But in a news release Monday, the Southern University System revealed that Hatches has pulled his name from consideration.

The remaining two finalists, White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities Deputy Director Ivory Toldson and Southern University Shreveport Chancellor Ray Belton, will meet with students, alumni, faculty and other stakeholders on campus Thursday.

The Southern University System Board of Supervisors will then interview and select one of the two for the job during a meeting Friday.

Toldson, a Baton Rouge native and expert on HBCUs, has a bachelor’s degree from LSU, a master’s from Pennsylvania State University and doctorate from Temple University. He previously was a professor at Southern University and Howard University.

Belton, a graduate of SUSLA and Southern University Baton Rouge, has been leader of the Shreveport campus since 2000. He has a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

Southern University President Ron Mason recently was picked to lead the University of the District of Columbia.

The Southern University board had earlier decided not to renew his contract past its June 30 expiration. Meanwhile, the system’s Baton Rouge campus has been without a permanent chancellor since last year’s ouster of Chancellor James Llorens.

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