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Skidmore College
Presidential Search

Presidential Search Update

October 9, 2019

Dear Members of the Skidmore Community,

We are pleased to provide the following update from the Presidential Search Committee. During the spring and summer, hundreds of individuals were contacted to seek their advice and suggestions for this search.  You may recall we reported in July that between applications from the job posting, nominations from the community and recruiting by our search firm Storbeck Pimentel, a strong pool of candidates was beginning to build.  Over the summer, members of the committee reviewed candidate materials and were able to narrow the pool of approximately 100 confirmed applicants to a small number of extremely qualified individuals for serious consideration.

In early September, the committee met to conduct the final review of applications and select a candidate group for initial, face-to-face interviews. The committee adhered to the “Community Norms” agreed upon at the beginning of the search process, which provided framework for how members of the committee work together in a spirit of equality, inclusion, and respect. We also used the rubric established by the committee to evaluate each candidate in a consistent, fair, and balanced way. Throughout this process, the committee honored our commitment to identifying the most diverse possible pool of candidates, and the candidates identified for interviews were selected from this pool.

The full membership of the committee participated in a first round of interviews with a small group of highly qualified candidates. This pool was vastly diverse across many dimensions, including professional background; gender, race, and other personal identifiers; and scholarly areas of interest, among others. Interview topics included issues of broad importance to the College, each as they relate to a liberal arts education. Questions ranged from candidate experience with student interaction; priorities and concerns of students, faculty and staff; issues of diversity, equity and inclusion; questions about leadership values; budget management; fund raising; and experience with infrastructure oversight.

After completing this first round of interviews, the committee agreed to conduct in-depth references on a subset of the interviewees. These candidates represent a broad array of experiences and identities.

Next steps include a second round of in-person interviews followed by another narrowing of the pool and a presentation to the Board.

As reported previously, in order to attract the most qualified candidates, the committee has agreed to a “confidential search,” and therefore, we are unable to provide the community-at-large with any identifying information about the candidates. We do anticipate that our final candidates will meet with small groups of key stakeholders on campus, and to that end have begun working with leaders in those stakeholder groups. All those participating in meetings with the final candidates will be asked to sign non-disclosure/confidentiality forms, as did all members of the search committee.

The committee is mindful that the final selection of Skidmore’s next president is ultimately up to the Board of Trustees. Before the end of the year, we hope to present the Board with two or three candidates for their consideration.


Jon Achenbaum and Maxine Isaacs
Presidential Search Committee Co-chairs