Update from the Presidential Search Committee
January 20, 2010
Message from the Presidential Search Committee Chair:
The Presidential Search Committee has selected a small group of outstanding finalist candidates to participate in a second round of interviews later this month. The goal remains to present a final candidate for a Board of Trustees vote at their board meeting on February 18, 2010.
The Committee’s charge from the Board has been to find the most qualified person to serve as Lewis & Clark’s next president. This charge compels us to continue a confidential process that offers privacy to our candidates while we continue our interviews and our deep reference checks with people who have worked with, for, and around the finalists in their current and past positions. As you may be aware, there is a strong trend in top-tier presidential searches to keep candidates’ identities private during the final stages of a search. This is due to the increasingly competitive nature of filling high profile presidencies and the growth of information-sharing via the Internet. For competitive, elite colleges like Lewis & Clark, this confidential method has become the rule rather than the exception. We have learned that without this confidentiality we would not attract outstanding candidates.
To balance the need for confidentiality with a broader scrutiny of the candidate’s qualifications and abilities, we will open this second round of interviews to a wider cross section of the campus community. Faculty alternates, members of the Executive Council, and additional representatives from staff, students, and alumni will be invited to participate in the interviews and weigh in on the final decision. All additional members of the interview team are subject to the same confidentiality requirements as search committee members.
I share your desire for transparency in the search process but reiterate that this modified process is necessary to allow us to keep the best qualified candidates in the pool.
Please feel free to contact me and other members of the Search Committee with your questions or concerns. I appreciate your understanding of our difficult task of balancing confidentiality and transparency.
The Board’s most important responsibility is to select a President who will serve the campus well as we enter a new decade that presents both extraordinary opportunities and substantial challenges. This is a task we all take very seriously. The staff, student and faculty members on the Search Advisory Committee continue to provide invaluable feedback as the committee narrows the pool. The Presidential Search Advisory Committee is pleased with the search process to date and delighted that we have a pool of strong, seasoned final candidates.
A visit to these links will show we are not the only college or university in this position.
Grinnell College Presidential Search
University of Virginia Presidential Search
Jay Waldron, Chair, Presidential Search Committee