Taylor Searches for New President
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Takes team to make transition

The Presidential Search Committee has hired an executive search firm

By Becca Robb | Echo


It takes 11 people to replace President Eugene Habecker.

The Presidential Search Committee is comprised of 11 board members, alumni, faculty and staff. They have met twice in the spring to set goals and plan to start reviewing resumes in October.

This year, the committee is working with CarterBaldwin Executive Search, a firm based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

The search process began in earnest after Habecker’s announcement on May 28. CarterBaldwin reports directly to committee chairman Mark Taylor, who then communicates with the other committee members.

“The position is being advertised in nationally prominent periodicals, both print and digital, that are likely to be read by academic leadership and/or diversity candidates,” said CarterBaldwin partner Price Harding.

Committee Faculty Moderator Tim Herrmann hopes that CarterBaldwin will allow the committee to focus more on candidates and less on logistics. He said it felt natural to work with the firm.

“We don’t feel like we’re dealing with outsiders,” said Herrmann. “(CarterBaldwin) knows who we are and what we’re about.”

As they receive nominations, CarterBaldwin will examine references, launch investigations into candidates’ backgrounds and engage candidates in one-on-one meetings. After considering the applications, CarterBaldwin and the committee will narrow the candidates down to approximately ten semi-finalists.

Ultimately, the University is looking for an experienced leader who will bring the community together and engage in campus life.

“We’re not just looking for a figurehead,” Herrmann said. “We are looking for someone to be part of the community.”

In May 2015, Taylor adopted a document called Strategic Directions 2026, which outlines Taylor’s goals for the next 10 years. One reason why Taylor is implementing this plan is to lend a strong trajectory to the future leadership.

“I think (Strategic Directions) 2026 will be a real asset,” Herrmann said. “It won’t leave the new president with their hands tied, but it will help them to clearly understand the direction we’re moving in.”

Committee member Tamara Shaya Hoffman is a conflict specialist at the United States Agency for International Development. She encouraged the future president to be communicative and to foster good relationships.

“During transition periods, it’s possible that miscommunication or a lack of communication can occur,” Hoffman said. “Being upfront about one’s goals and ideas . . . can help alleviate misunderstanding and promote collaboration.”

Students looking for a way to contribute may consider possible candidates within their own networks. Anyone can submit a nomination form on Taylor’s website at http://bit.ly/1JRL3Dw.

Committee member and Provost Jeff Moshier encouraged students to continue praying over the process and the future president.

“We’re overturning every stone, looking at every sign and every red flag in candidates,” Moshier said. “We want God’s person here. We need the prayers of the student body.”


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