2018–19 Presidential Search

News and Updates

To: The Reed College Campus Community
From: Alex J. Martinez ’73, Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Date: July 30, 2018

Selection of a presidential search firm and upcoming forums on campus

The search committee is pleased to announce that the services of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates have been obtained to assist and advise the committee. Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates is a woman- and minority-owned firm that specializes in higher education executive searches. The Storbeck/Pimentel team will be led by Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Managing Partner, Susan VanGilder, Partner, and Julia Patton, Senior Associate. They have extensive experience conducting presidential searches on behalf of selective liberal arts colleges, including Bates, Colby, Colorado, Davidson, Haverford, Kalamazoo, Kenyon, Pomona, Swarthmore, and Whitman. Their expertise is grounded in their firsthand knowledge of higher education as a whole and in their rigorous understanding of the particular culture, challenges, and aspirations of each institution with which they work.

The selection of this firm was an extensive process that began with outreach to other colleges that had recently conducted presidential searches. After conversations with consultants who were specifically identified and highly recommended, we invited teams from three separate firms to submit proposals and meet the committee. We requested that each firm include information on their results developing pools of diverse candidates and placing people of color and women. The search committee met on campus on July 12 and 13 to conduct interviews with the firms and discuss the final selection. The committee prepared specific criteria to assist in the evaluation and consideration of the interviewees. After these in-person interviews and discussions, the committee developed follow-up questions for the interviewees and for individuals with whom the consultants had worked. After obtaining further information and references and engaging in online discussions, the committee met in a phone conference to make a final decision. We are satisfied that we have obtained the services of the best in the field to assist Reed at this time in our history.

The next step in the presidential search process will be gathering additional input and recommendations from the Reed community. We met with alumni at Reunions in June, and it was evident how important it is to involve the larger community. With that in mind, we are working on scheduling, and will soon announce, faculty, staff, student, and alumni forums to discuss Reed’s goals and objectives for the next president and for us as a community. We will also continue to receive your comments and suggestions individually, as well as through the committee email address, presidentialsearch@reed.edu.

As the Storbeck/Pimentel team begins working with the presidential search committee, they also welcome the input of students, faculty, and staff regarding the qualifications and characteristics that members of the Reed community hope to see in the next president of Reed College. The Storbeck/Pimentel search team will join members of the committee on campus to meet with all campus constituencies as part of the critical dialogue that will inform the development of the presidential profile. In addition, Storbeck/Pimentel will soon launch a presidential search website for Reed, which will include a link to an online survey as well as an email address for submitting nominations directly to Storbeck/Pimentel. We hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities to share your perspectives with the search committee.


Alex J. Martinez ’73, Chair, Presidential Search Committee