Converse Announces Presidential Search Plans
Converse College announced today its Presidential Search Committee and the selection of Isaacson, Miller, a leading national executive search firm, as its partner in the search for the College’s tenth president. The search process was initiated following President Betsy Fleming’s Sept. 8 announcement that 2015-2016 will be her final year leading the College. The process will begin immediately, with the new president to be announced in spring 2016 and to begin tenure in summer 2016.
“We are confident in Isaacson, Miller’s ability to bring an exceptionally qualified pool of candidates that will result in a visionary president to continue Converse’s strategic growth.”
Isaacson, Miller brings over 30 years of experience in recruiting leaders for mission-driven organizations, with higher education as its largest and most comprehensive practice. Its searches in academia have placed some of the most respected and successful presidents in universities and colleges across the United States, including recent searches for New York University, Claremont McKenna College, Smith College and Bowdoin College.
“We are confident in Isaacson, Miller’s ability to bring an exceptionally qualified pool of candidates that will result in a visionary president to continue Converse’s strategic growth,” said Ben Wall, chair of the Converse Board of Trustees. “The last decade has been one of transformative growth and accomplishment for Converse, thanks to President Fleming’s bold leadership. We anticipate great interest from prospective candidates, and are fortunate to have an extensive period to conduct a comprehensive search in an organized and deliberate manner.”
The Presidential Search Committee will be led by Converse Life Trustee and Spartanburg business leader, Bill Barnet. Search Committee members include:
- Jessica Backman, Class of 2016
- Jeff Barker, Provost
- Joy Couch, Director of Athletics
- Phyllis Perrin Harris ’82, Trustee
- Ken Howard, Trustee
- Dennis Hughes, Director of Human Resources
- Kim Varnadoe Kent ’97, Trustee
- Mike Russ, Trustee
- Jane Boatwright Schwab ’77, Trustee
- Melissa Walker, George Dean Johnson Professor of History
- Ben Wall, Chair of the Converse College Board of Trustees
- Doug Weeks, Babcock Professor of Piano
“This diverse committee, drawing on the significant talent and experience of trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and students, is critical to our success…”
“This diverse committee, drawing on the significant talent and experience of trustees, alumni, faculty, staff and students, is critical to our success in identifying and recommending the most qualified candidate,” said Wall.
Isaacson, Miller will visit the Converse campus Oct. 1-2 to conduct listening sessions with various constituency groups in preparation for identifying candidates. Converse is prioritizing input, ideas and suggestions from its constituents, particularly in crafting the vision and goals for the College, the desired leadership qualities of its next president, and the important facets of the Converse story to be shared with candidates.
“The coming year will be one of continued momentum and excitement, as we celebrate our accomplishments, strengthen the bonds of our distinctive community, and secure dynamic leadership for our future,” said Wall.