Presidential Search Committee Releases Prospectus
By Gauri Mangala, News Editor
On Sept 21, the Presidential Search Committee released the Presidential Search Prospectus, an 18 page document outlining what the college is looking for in its 15th president, to the public.
The prospectus outlines the mission of Gettysburg College as a whole and the core values of the institution that were adopted by the Gettysburg College Board of Trustees and Faculty Council in the Fall of 2016: “The worth and dignity of all people and the limitless value of their intellectual potential; The commitment to a diverse and inclusive learning environment; The power of a liberal arts education to help students develop critical thinking skills, broad vision, effective communication, a sense of the inter-relatedness of all knowledge, sensitivity to the human condition, and a global perspective, all necessary to enable students to realize their full potential for responsible citizenship; The enrichment of the traditional liberal arts and sciences curriculum with the most promising intellectual developments of our time; The free and open exchange of ideas and the exploration of their ethical and spiritual dimensions; The value of a lifelong commitment to service, and the role of the College in both providing an example of public service for students and fostering a commitment to service among our young people; The value of ethical leadership that is inclusive, collaborative, and directed towards effecting change for the greater good; and our conviction that a residential college best promotes the sense of community, central to a liberal arts education, in which personal relationships between students, faculty, and staff can flourish.”
The Unfinished Work
The prospectus goes on to describe the Board of Trustees’ strategic plan, “The Unfinished Work: A Strategic Direction for Gettysburg College, 2016-2021.” The plan surrounds impact “by enhancing opportunities for experiential learning that will advance [students] personal and intellectual development, their sense of social responsibility, and their ability to take effective action in service of the greater good,” inclusion & internationalization by cultivating “a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming campus community that inspires a sense of social responsibility” and innovation by promoting “an institutional culture of thinking and acting anew that honors the visionary leadership of President Abraham Lincoln.”
The prospectus goes on to expand on the ‘key facts’ of Gettysburg College including, academic programs, student experience, distinctive programs, athletics, enrollment, development, alumni engagement, notable grants, rankings, and economic impact.
The Role of the President
The prospectus outlines the role and priorities of the next president of Gettysburg College including leading the development of a vision for the future, strengthening organizational capacity and sustainability, and raising profile and resources. The prospectus’ key success factors for the ideal candidate would include “Visionary and strategic leadership of a complex organization with multiple stakeholders; Strong knowledge of the operating culture and methods within higher education, likely gained through professional experience within a college/university or in a highly-talented individuals for the organization; Financial acumen, including experience with budgeting and planning; General understanding of the impact of current and future technological advances on our lives in general and the imperatives for an elite liberal arts and sciences college; Track record of fostering diversity and inclusive excellence; Strong interpersonal skills, including humility and a genuine interest in connecting with members of the Gettysburg community; Stellar academic credentials, including either a terminal degree and faculty experience, or other evidence of a deep appreciation for shared governance and for faculty research, scholarship, and teaching; Consultative and confident decision-making skills; Outstanding communication skills in public speaking and writing, including the ability to maintain Gettysburg’s tradition of civil discourse on campus; Global mindset and intercultural competence; Fundraising track record, or the personality traits and stamina to suggest strong potential as a fundraiser; and Compelling advocate for the value of a liberal education including the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences, as well as a champion for the distinctiveness of a Gettysburg education.” As the committee has mentioned in the past, this person does not have to come from higher education and could very well have a business background.
The Countdown to the 15th President
Charlie Scott, the Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, urged that the committee “would continue to want people to express their concerns through the email.” The key success factors of the next president were cultivated through the listening tour, forums, and the online survey that has received over 2,000 responses. The top three priorities chosen through the survey were to enhance the affordability and accessibility of a Gettysburg education, support efforts to enhance academic excellence, and to recruit, develop, and retain talented faculty and staff.
“Russell Reynolds was blown away by the level of engagement of the College,” remarked Scott.
The prospectus is available for potential applicants to view on the college’s website and will also be proactively shared by the Presidential Search Committee and the Russell Reynolds search firm.
The committee will go through the first round of applicants in November and conduct 15 to 20 face to face interviews. Finalist interviews for the position should take place in the December or January timeframe. The next president of Gettysburg College will be announced to the college community during the Spring semester and is set to start at the end of President Janet Morgan Riggs’ term.