Presidential Search Committee Enters Interview Phase “Very Impressed” with Pool of Candidates

Charlie Scott '77, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee (File Photo)

Charlie Scott ’77, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee (File Photo)

By Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief

The Presidential Search Committee has moved a step closer to naming the 15th President of Gettysburg College.

A message to the campus community sent Monday afternoon announced that the committee has entered the interview phase “excited, impressed, even flattered by the caliber of professionals who are interested in leading Gettysburg College.”

Charlie Scott ’77, who is chairing the search, said in an interview with The Gettysburgian that one theme from the committee’s listening tour earlier this fall was that people wondered how the college would replace Janet Morgan Riggs, whom he called an “iconic leader” of Gettysburg College.

“We want everyone to know that the search committee has been very impressed [with the quality of the candidate pool],” he said.

The pool, assembled with the help of Russell Reynolds Associates, contains individuals from what Scott called “a broad set of fields,” but he added that those receiving the strongest consideration have backgrounds that include leadership positions in higher education. The committee plans to conduct several rounds of interviews with a variety of the candidates in the pool including some “up and comers” that might be less obvious choices for the position.

Scott added that the pool contains racial, gender, and experiential diversity, which was a key priority gleaned from the listening phase of the process.

The committee plans to conduct candidate interviews as a full group rather than in smaller teams to ensure that each of the members’ priorities are considered during the interview process, Scott said. Because that requires coordinating 13 people’s schedules along with the schedules of the candidates, that process will take time.

The Board of Trustees, to whom the search committee makes a final recommendation, meets next in February; however, Scott suggested it is not likely the committee will have a recommendation at that meeting.

“That would be aggressive,” he said. “A lot of things would have to fall into place.”

The Board meets again in May, but Scott said the recommendation does not necessarily have to come at an official meeting.

While he hopes that the process will move along on its original schedule of naming a candidate during the spring, Scott cautioned, “We’ve entered the point of the process where externalities come into play,” so he could not affirmatively guarantee such a timeline.

Scott declined to comment on how many people applied for the position, how many interviews will be conducted, or whether the pool is composed entirely of external candidates because the process remains active.

“The recruiting process doesn’t end until we name a candidate,” he said. “We have an excellent pool of candidates from which to consider.”

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Author: Benjamin Pontz

Benjamin Pontz '20 serves as editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian. Previously, he served as a staff writer, event coverage coordinator, news editor, and managing news editor. During his tenure, he has written more than 120 articles, and he led the team that won first place in the 2017 Keystone Press Awards for ongoing news coverage of Robert Spencer's visit to Gettysburg College. Ben is a political science and public policy double major with a minor in music, and he reads up to seven newspapers daily. Follow him on Twitter @benpontz.

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