Presidential Search Committee Hosts Open Forums
By Isabelle D'Arcy '13, News Section Editor
The Presidential Search Committee hosted four open forums in the past weeks to foster open conversation with students about the selection of the next President of the College.

The Committee is currently in the listening phase of the search process, and hope to include the input of as many constituencies as possible before putting together a profile of the ideal candidate. Toward this end, the Committee is working with a search consultant organization that facilitates high level searches in educational institutions. Having previously worked for Williams College, Tufts and the University of Pennsylvania, the search firm has a strong tract record finding non-traditional candidates (i.e. women and/or people of color).

The open forums demonstrated that diversity is an important issue for students, both as a characteristic and priority of the next president. During the first open forum, one student skyped in from Istanbul to express her desire for a non-traditional president, explaining that this would effect change in a way that a candidate who is merely ‘visionary’ or familiar with liberal arts education cannot. Many students encouraged the committee to find a candidate who is dedicated to increasing the diversity of Amherst not only among students but also among faculty and staff.

Students were also concerned with preserving that which is integral to Amherst: intimate professor-student relationships and a welcoming, supportive environment, with a president who is personable, experienced (with liberal arts, education, diversity and change in institutions), and able to keep Amherst on top.

Issue 09, Submitted 2010-11-17 02:46:18