BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The third and final candidate for Southern University’s next President-Chancellor was on campus Thursday to visit with students and staff.

Candidate Dennis Shields of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville arrived on the bluff ready to engage with the Jaguar community.

Shields hopes to represent the blue and gold soon as he gets a glimpse of Southern’s family-like culture during his visit Thursday.

“I would be excited about immersing myself in that culture and supporting it,” he said.

He made notes of a few areas of improvement for the university, including retention rates.

“Not enough of the students who start at Southern finished, so we need to investigate what’s happening and commit some resources to improving those outcomes for students,” said Shields.

Jags had a lot to say about the search for the new leader.

“It was really awesome to have the students involved in this,” stated junior Madison Smith.

Communication junior Chris Hunter said he hopes the next president will help expand learning opportunities.

“Our school focuses a lot on STEM majors, and I feel like there’s a lot of opportunities outside of STEM that our school doesn’t focus on,” said Hunter.

Students say they’re looking for more than just lip service from the next President.

“I would like to see the new president and more active on campus interacting with the students because we are genuinely a family,” said sophomore student Jazmon Derousselle.

“When I came in as a freshman, I didn’t have a lot of resources to look for. So I feel like being able to provide for students being able to help them, I feel like that would be a major deal,” Hunter explained.

If chosen, Shields plans to take time out to familiarize himself with the campus, faculty, and policies.

“The first year I’d spend a fair amount of time getting to know the chances and getting to know the system and then moving that forward,” said Shields.

The next board of supervisors meeting will be on February 18th.