Letter to Staff, October 25, 2010

Dear Colleagues,

We write to you as members of the committee that will conduct a search for the next College President, and with the aim of enlisting your help.  Over the coming months we and our colleagues on this committee, a group including trustees, staff, students, and alumni, will explore many avenues for securing a field of presidential candidates that is as broad and talented as possible.

We believe it’s important to try to define the qualities and qualifications that we should look for in our next President. Of course, we can all conjure up the profile of a generic leader who will be smart, humane, principled, and eloquent. In addition to looking for these traits, we also want to hear about other qualities or experiences that you would prioritize in the candidates. We’re sensitive to the fact that the College faces sobering financial challenges, many of which have directly affected the staff. We feel it’s important to try to imagine the characteristics or blend of characteristics that would best fit a leader of this institution at this particular moment in its history.

Clearly we can’t accomplish this task without your counsel, so we invite you to talk with us about your views on what Amherst needs in our next President. In particular, we ask that you give some thought to the challenges and needs that we will be facing over the next few years and the kind of President who would be best suited to lead us through them.

We have scheduled two open meetings in the hopes of accommodating all of you who want to express your views and join the conversation:

  • Thursday, October 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse
  • Friday, October 29 at 10:00 a.m. in the Friedmann Room of the Campus Center

We hope you can participate in one of these sessions. Although we hope that you would feel comfortable voicing your thoughts in person, we’ll also welcome your thoughts via e-mail, to be kept confidential within the search committee, sent to pressearch@amherst.edu.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Coffey

Kate Wellspring