Eliot Circular

Searching for a Leader

Reed is looking for a new president -- and we need your help.

By Randall S. Barton

Scan your Rolodex. Scroll through your contacts. Ping your network. Reed is seeking to identify candidates for one of the most important jobs in the world—a new president to succeed President Colin Diver, who will retire in June 2012.

“Because Reed has such deep roots in academic communities all over the country, we have an alumni network uniquely positioned to help us find people who might like to be Reed’s next president,” says trustee Anna Hayes Levin, chair of the search committee.

Composed of six trustees and six faculty members—including one from each of the five divisions—the committee has retained the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to help recruit and investigate candidates. (Isaacson, Miller assisted with the search that resulted in Diver’s coming to Reed in 2002.)

After hearing from alumni, faculty, staff, and students, the committee has also drafted a position statement that describes the college and identifies goals for the new president.

The committee hopes that vigorous alumni networking will produce a long list of potential candidates, which it will winnow down to 8 to 10 semifinalists, one of whom will ultimately be selected as president. The committee expects to make a recommendation to the board of trustees by next spring.

Levin says the college has a competitive advantage in launching its search now. “Reed is stronger than ever,” she says. “There are plenty of students who want to apply, we’ve been successful in attracting strong new faculty, and the financial house is very much in order. Portland is a popular place to be. Reed has a distinctive style and it’s stood the test of time.”

Other committee members include trustees Dan Greenberg ’62, George James ’77, Sandy E. Mintz, Roger Perlmutter ’73, John Sheehy ’82, and Rick Wollenberg ’75; professors Ken Brashier [religion 1998–], Mary James [physics 1988–], Gerri Ondrizek [art 1994–], Jan Mieszkowski [German 1997–], Jeff Parker [economics 1988–], and Catherine Witt [French 2005–]; treasurer Ed McFarlane (observer); and student-body president Nora McConnell-Johnson ’12 (observer).

Thinking of a good candidate? Send your thoughts to pressearch@reed.edu.