March 19, 2019
Dear members of the Olin community,
Since we were first introduced to Olin through my son Elliott, a 2015 graduate, Olin has been a special place for our entire family. Olin’s curricular focus on making a positive difference in the world and its leadership in redefining engineering education are just two of the reasons why I feel so passionate about this college. I am honored to serve on the Olin Board of Trustees and to lead the search for the next president of Olin College.
My goal is to facilitate a process that will be inclusive and respectful of Olin’s varied constituencies. To that end, I want to share some information regarding the preliminary stages of the presidential search process.
Given the importance of Olin’s educational mission, I will be partnering with an Olin faculty member who will serve as search committee Vice Chair. I have asked Vin Manno, as well as other members of the Olin community, to identify candidates from within the Olin faculty to serve as Vice Chair. This is a leadership position that will require someone with a deep understanding of Olin. The Vice Chair will help lead the committee and collaborate with others to ensure that we have the confidence of the entire community during this process.
The first task that the Vice Chair and I will undertake will be to develop a collaborative process for identifying and selecting search committee members. My goal is to draw on the talent and experience of students, faculty, staff, alumni and Board representatives to convene a group of individuals dedicated to crafting and running a thoughtful and holistic search process.
In parallel, we will be selecting an external search firm that is experienced in the complex process of identifying and vetting potential presidential candidates. The search firm will collaborate with the search committee to understand Olin’s unique needs, as well as draw on its own knowledge and expertise to ensure we attract a strong, diverse candidate pool who have the potential to be a good fit for Olin.
The initial stage of the presidential search process will be engaging a broad group of Olin College constituencies to coalesce around the characteristics and capabilities needed in the next Olin president. What is most critical? How do we articulate the aspirations for Olin so that we draw the best candidates? We need your thoughts, and we’ll be developing the process and schedule for input in the coming weeks.
Open Forums and Ongoing Communication
I would like to start the conversation as soon as we can. To that end, I will be on campus at the end of March and look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible. I am currently planning the following forums, open to all:
Wednesday, March 27:
- 1:00-2:30PM Norden Auditorium Open Forum
- 8:00PM Library SLAC: ABA—Ask Bev Anything
Friday, March 29: 8:00-10AM Library Open Forum
These will be open forums. I am interested in ANY questions you have about the process, as well as your thoughts on the characteristics you would like to see in committee members, what makes Olin unique, and the characteristics and capabilities you feel need to be considered in the next president.
You will hear few definitive answers on the process at this time, as we are still developing it. This initial stage is about listening, yes, but it is also a chance to explore ideas and start to collectively frame the search process.
Throughout the next year, you will be able to find periodic updates about the presidential search on the Olin website. We will also share news about the search periodically via email and in the weekly oLink.
I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to reach out to me by email at any time. I also encourage you to attend one of these public forums and introduce yourself. This is an exciting time for Olin. I look forward to going through this journey in partnership with all of you.
Chair, Presidential Search Committee