Questions and Answers About the Search for Bowdoin’s 15th President

Bowdoin Sun 128The announcement Monday that Clayton S. Rose has been elected as Bowdoin’s next president meant that more than eight months of work is now over for the 18-member Presidential Search Committee. As the group disbands, here’s a look at some questions and answers about their work and the process itself.

Q: What was the composition of the Presidential Search Committee:

A: The search committee included ten trustees; three faculty; two students; and one representative each from the Alumni Council, the administrative staff, and the support staff. In addition, seven of the search committee members are current or past Bowdoin parents.

Q: How were the committee members selected? 

A: In consultation with the vice chair of the Board of Trustees and other trustees, the chair of the Board asked Trustee Jes Staley ’79, P’11 to chair the committee. Nominations and applications were solicited and received for faculty, staff, student, trustee, and alumni members. The Committee on Governance and Faculty Affairs solicited nominations and applications from the faculty. The Board of Trustees approved the final list of members.

Q: When did the committee begin its work?

A: The Committee was formed on May 9, 2014.

Q: From whom was input solicited?

A: Over the course of the search, input was solicited in myriad ways including on and off-campus gatherings with faculty, staff, students, and alumni; through comments submitted to the Presidential Search website; and in individual conversations.

Q: How many nominations, suggestions, and ideas were received?

A: The committee received more than 375 nominations/suggestions/ideas.

Q: How many initial candidates did the committee consider?

A: The committee explored serious interest with approximately sixty highly qualified individuals. The committee reviewed the candidates’ CVs and dossiers in detail over the course of two meetings to identify the candidates to meet in person.

Q: How many initial candidates did the committee consider?

A: The committee interviewed over a dozen very strong candidates.

Q: How were interviews conducted?

A: Initial interviews took a variety of formats. At the outset, over a one-week period, the entire search committee conducted interviews using the same set of questions it had developed with each candidate. Following the initial interviews, many candidates were interviewed by small two-to-five person subcommittees of the full search committee. All members of the search committee were included in these subcommittees.

Q: How were the finalists interviewed? 

A: After initial interviews with the entire search committee and a series of small group meetings, finalists were asked to meet again with the entire search committee. They were asked to come to the interview with a prepared statement on the future of higher education, connecting their comments specifically to Bowdoin as they saw appropriate. For the remaining hour they engaged the search committee in a rich discussion, both posing questions to the committee and answering questions from search committee members. The chair of the search committee and the Board chair each met individually with finalists.

Q: Was the final decision unanimous?

A: Yes. The entire Presidential Search Committee was unanimous and enthusiastic in recommending Clayton Rose to the Board of Trustees.



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