Finding Number 18

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Davidson searches for its next leader.

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By Stacey Schmeidel

“Superb management and leadership.” “Strategic vision.” “Integrity and moral values consistent with Davidson’s ethos of personal responsibility and its Honor Code.”

These are just some of the qualities Davidson seeks in its next president. Early in 2011, the presidential search committee, chaired by Kristin Hills Bradberry ’85, posted a job description listing the position’s responsibilities, challenges, and opportunities. The committee hopes to hire a new president by the beginning of the next academic year—“but our first priority is finding the best leader for Davidson,” Bradberry said.

Storbeck/Pimentel, a highly regarded education and non-profit executive recruitment firm, is assisting with the search.

The search for Davidson’s 18th president is already helping to shape the eventual search for its 19th. Board of Trustees Chair Mackey McDonald ’68 has announced a community discussion about Davidson’s presidential election bylaw to include all college constituencies and to begin within a year after a new president takes office. The bylaw states in part, “The Trustees shall elect a President…who is a loyal and active church member, whose life provides evidence of strong Christian faith and commitment. Such faith and commitment will be appropriately expressed by affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and active participation in the life of Davidson College Presbyterian Church.”

McDonald said that people had asked about the bylaw in almost every public search conversation. “Given the community discussion during the initial phase of our presidential search, the Executive Committee believes that it is consistent with the college’s ideals to undertake a discussion about this bylaw.” The timing is intentional. “A discussion like this is important,” McDonald said, “involving complex issues and a range of opinions, and we want to be sure to allow for broad discussion with the extended Davidson community. I am confident that we will engage in this conversation thoughtfully and openly, with fairness and integrity. And as always, we will do what is best for Davidson College.”

View the Presidential Search web site for the full job description and other updates on the presidential search.

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