A message from David Rathburn, chair of the Board of Trustees
April 21, 2014
Dear members of the Grove City College family,
I want to share with you an update on the progress our excellent team of eleven members is making on the Presidential Search.
We want to thank you for your continued support and prayer for the important work that this group is doing. I know that many of you are anxious to know who the next President will be. I can assure you that we are working hard to complete the process so that we can share with you the fruit of our labor over the last several months.
To date, we have reviewed letters of interest, resumes, published materials and other information from more than 75 candidates. Of those candidates, we then organized in-person interviews across the country of 11 highly qualified candidates. In conjunction with the excellent support of Price Harding, our search consultant from CarterBaldwin, we then narrowed that field to five semi-finalist candidates. The semi-finalists’ group includes two sitting college Presidents as well as three other highly accomplished individuals.
Over the last two weeks the committee has spent nearly 20 hours in direct interviews and conversations with these candidates – exploring their views about the future of higher education and the challenges it faces, their understanding of the integration of faith and learning, and their ability to articulate a compelling view of the Christian life of the mind that will inspire us and our students in meaningful and lasting ways.
We engaged each about their management experience, style and process. We talked about their understanding of Grove City College and their vision for leading it into the future. We probed to determine leadership capabilities and their ability to guide the college regarding advancement, alumni relations and to strengthen our voice in the marketplace of ideas in a way that not only enhances our national reputation but ensures our future.
We explored their faith walk and their ability to demonstrate through words and deeds their own personal relationship with Christ, and we asked what role their faith would play in everything they do if they were selected to lead the college. We talked about how they and their spouse would feel about living on campus and what role their spouse would play in the life of the college. We talked about short term tactical perspectives and long term strategic initiatives. We queried them about their analysis of our strengths and weaknesses. We solicited their perspectives about the best ways to engage with faculty, both STEM and Liberal Arts, as well as students, administrators and staff, alumni and friends of the college.
We discussed what our distinctives meant to them, how they comprehend our mission, and how they thought our commitment to faith and freedom can best be integrated into everything we are. We talked about on-line learning, athletics, the arts, Greek life, international studies, diversity and many other things as well. We are incredibly thankful that our process identified five different people that all have the ability to lead us successfully.
The committee has worked extremely hard. We are on schedule to meet our commitment to the board that we will unanimously present a single candidate for its consideration. We have almost a month left on the schedule we originally established. We are in agreement that we should take time now to reflect on what we learned from these five candidates, listen carefully to ensure that we can discern God’s will in this process, and then reconvene as schedules allow around the end of the month to move toward the final stages of the process. We expect to present our candidate to the board in mid to late May.
While we anticipate that we will be ready to share our recommendation with the board at that time, we will not let a deadline hurry the process. We are unified in our commitment to be steadfast to the college and to each of you, and therefore we will only present a candidate that has the full support and endorsement of each individual member of our team. If we need more time we will take it.
It is so gratifying for me to see how well this team has worked together. We have learned from each other, we have engaged and challenged each other, and we have prayed with and for each other. We have also developed a sense of friendship and fellowship in our common quest to serve well Grove City College. Every member of the committee is important, and every voice has been and will be heard. Every member will have an equal vote when it comes time to make the final decision.
We thank you again for your continued support and understanding of why we can’t tell you more. We promise that when we can we will share the news as quickly as possible, but until we can we appreciate your continued patience, support and prayer.
Yours for Grove City College,
David R. Rathburn, '79
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Please click the links below for email correspondence related to the Presidential Search.