Section: archive

Presidential Search Committee Submits Formal Prospectus

By Carolyn Fleder

On Nov. 5, Kenyons Presidential Search Committee, chaired by Brackett Denniston 69, vice-chaired by Aileen Hefferren 88 H12 and assisted bysearch consultants from the firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, and a handful of students, faculty and trustees, released a position prospectus, an important next step in the search for the Colleges 19th president.

In an email to Kenyon students and employees announcing the release of the prospectus, Denniston and Hefferren wrote, Theprospectusdescribes the College, its character and its traditions and many strengths. Theprospectusalso enumerates the opportunities and challenges facing the next president, and lists the qualities the Committee seeks in the best candidates.

The Committee has been gathering input from the community with a public forum on Sept. 28, a visit in early October and an online survey that was sent by email to all Kenyon students and faculty. The Committee used all of this input to construct the prospectus. The Committee members had hoped to have the prospectus compiled by winter, putting them well ahead of schedule.

The prospectus introduces Kenyon to potential candidates, highlighting the Colleges strengths in academic excellence, a strong sense of community, and close relationships among students and professors. It gives brief descriptions of the Colleges academic programs, history, faculty and students, paying special attention to what distinguishes Kenyon from similar liberal arts colleges. Some of the programs and facilities highlighted in the prospectus include the Kenyon Review, The Rural Life Center, the Center for the Study of American Democracy, the Brown Family Environmental Center and the Graham Gund Gallery.

Following the introduction to the College and its core values, the prospectus lists the opportunities that will be afforded to the new president. The next president of Kenyon College will join the institution at a time of positive momentum on all fronts, including a recent, successfully completed capital campaign, it says.

The priorities of the president, according to the prospectus, should be providing strategic and visionary leadership, fostering communication, building community, managing institutional resources and funds, raising the Colleges institutional profile and preserving its historic strengths. Many of these priorities are drawn from the online survey distributed to the Kenyon community last month. The prospectus also lists attributes that Kenyon seeks in its next president, which echo the suggestions of students and faculty who spoke at the public forum in September, like willingness to communicate and interact with the community.

Advertisements for the position have been published in major higher education publications, and Storbeck/Pimental is compiling a pool of candidates that the Committee will narrow down in the coming months.

Although the official prospectus has been released, the Committee is still welcoming input on qualities important in the future president and nominations for the position. All input to the Committee is confidential.

Suggestions can be sent by email to, or directly to any of the committee members, all of whom are listed on the presidential search website,

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