Academic Search, a Washington D.C.-based firm charged with finding candidates for The Evergreen State College’s next president, is slated to begin advertising the position in early October, according to college spokeswoman Meryl Lipman.
“They’re hoping to be looking at candidates by Thanksgiving,” she said.
The search firm held several forums last week to learn about the Olympia-based public liberal arts college, and hear what its students, faculty, staff and others want to see in the person who will replace longtime president Thomas “Les” Purce, who announced he will retire next August. Purce has served at Evergreen’s helm since July 1, 2000.
Some of the input included looking for a leader who fits in with Evergreen’s culture and mission and “who also could be the political face of the college with legislators and the public,” Lipman said.
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Other comments included someone who is a leader and a visionary, according to Evergreen faculty member Sarah Pedersen , chair of Evergreen’s Presidential Search Disappearing Task Force. She said the firm was given “a long list of attributes” to look for in candidates.
The Presidential Search Disappearing Task Force is a committee of nearly a dozen people who represent various portions of the college such as students, faculty, staff and its foundation board, as well as members of the public.
“It’s a great committee,” Pedersen said. “We have a lot of expertise, a lot of talent, a lot of energy.”
The group will work with the search firm and the college’s Board of Trustees to come up with a list finalists who will be brought to campus next February for interviews, she said.
If everything goes as planned, the college will make a hire in late February or March, Pedersen said.
Academic Search had the winning bid for the project, and is being paid a flat fee of $70,000 plus $21,500 to help cover expenses such as advertising and candidate travel, Lipman said.