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  • Vivian R. Miller

Presidential search on schedule and open to feedback, trustees say

BUTTRICK HALL, Office of the President — While the Hamilton community enters the final stretch of the Fall semester, the search for the College’s next president is well underway. Despite initial controversy over an unsecured vote for student representatives on the Presidential Search Committee and breaks from the 2015 presidential search precedent, the process seems to have continued without additional errors. In a statement released to the community via email on October 27th, Co-Chairs and trustees Linda Johnson ‘80 and Bob Delaney ‘79 said that the search is “progressing well and on schedule”. Partnered with the search firm Isaacson, Miller, the Committee will begin interviewing candidates soon.

Community members are no doubt interested in the upcoming selection process. In their statement, the Co-Chairs said “There will be several rounds of interviews, as well as rigorous referencing for the strongest candidates. Candidates’ identities will remain confidential throughout the process in order to attract the strongest and most diverse pool”. The Committee has provided space for community participation.

Open forums and anonymous surveys have been the primary tools for the Committee and Isaacson, Miller to check the pulse of the campus. During an open listening session, students, faculty, and staff voiced shared concerns about diversity, community, institutional siloing, educational objectives, and campus culture. Since September, however, it seems that community engagement in the search has decreased. Many faculty and student leaders could not be reached for comment or told the Monitor that with the business of the semester, they have not been able to follow the search. A survey has been open since at least June for the community to provide thoughts, constructive feedback, and concerns.

Ms. Johnson ‘80 and Mr. Delaney ‘79 emphasized in a message to the Monitor, their first comment to media during the search, that “It is never too late for members of the community to share their thoughts and ideas about Hamilton’s next president. The survey is completely anonymous and the information is shared regularly with the search committee”. They added that they do not have additional information to share at this time.

The Hamilton community still has time to provide valuable input and get engaged with the critical process of choosing the next college president. The Co-Chairs say they expect an update on the search in the coming weeks from the Committee and the selection of a candidate this winter. President David Wippman plans to retire in June 2024, at which point his successor will take office.

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