The Committee and Next Steps

March 27, 2014

Dear Member of the Whitman Community,

We are honored to serve as co-chairs of the search committee for Whitman’s 14th president. President George Bridges leaves big shoes to fill and a vibrant, strong College ready for its next leader to build on Whitman’s traditions and strong foundation. The search for Whitman’s next president will include several opportunities for all members of the Whitman community to be engaged and share their perspectives on the strengths of the College, challenges we face and the vision for the future.

The next step in the search process is appointment of the search committee. Search co-chair Nancy Serrurier, Board Chair Peter van Oppen and Board Chair-elect Brad McMurchie visited campus March 12-13 to discuss the search process and listen to suggestions from faculty, staff and student leaders. Based on these conversations, along with input from the budget officers and Overseer leaders, Chair van Oppen appointed the following members to the search committee: Overseers Denise Tabbutt ’87 and Aaron Perrine ’99, staff members Rachna Sinnott ’93 and Mike Osterman ’96, and students Gladys Gitau ’16 and Jack Percival ’16. Faculty members will be selected in early April. The search committee's charge is available on the search website. The committee will work closely with Shelly Storbeck and her colleagues at Storbeck/Pimentel, executive search consultants.

The first opportunity for campus involvement will be April 3-4 when the search committee convenes and Ms. Storbeck is on campus to meet with faculty, students and staff. Please take advantage of her visit to learn more about the search process and share your hopes and dreams for the next president. The meeting schedule is available on the website. Following the on-campus meetings, a survey will be sent to all members of the community – alumni, parents, faculty, students, staff, and governing board members – to gather further input on the College’s strengths, challenges and opportunities.

Ms. Storbeck and her colleagues will develop the Position Description, a compilation of the input received from the campus meetings, survey results and close consultation with the search committee. The Position Description will be posted on the search website and shared with prospective candidates.

The summer will be spent developing a vibrant, strong pool of candidates and seeking nominations from friends of the College. Those of us who know and love Whitman are best positioned to suggest candidates for the committee to consider. We encourage your nominations. As the summer ends, Ms. Storbeck and her team will share the resumes of the interested candidates with the search committee for review. The search committee will meet with selected candidates for in-depth interviews in the fall with the goal of having a final candidate to recommend to the Board of Trustees in late 2014.

As Chair van Oppen explained in his March 6th letter to the community, the search committee will complete its work adhering to a Code of Ethics, which includes a pledge of confidentiality. As co-chairs, we will keep you informed through the website of our progress, posting updates throughout the coming months. Please feel free to contact us at PresidentialSearch@Whitman.edu with questions or comments as we embark on this exciting and important next step in Whitman’s future. We are eager for your participation.

Thank you.

Nancy Serrurier & Janice M. Abraham