A Message from Board Chair John Gillespie

Dear Members of the Bates Community,

As you know, Clayton Spencer has announced that she will step down as president at the end of this academic year, on June 30, 2023. We on the Board of Trustees are deeply grateful for the exceptional leadership Clayton has provided the college for more than a decade and are very sorry that this will be her last year.

I write today to share some initial information about the search for Clayton’s successor. The Board of Trustees has primary responsibility for selecting Bates’ next president, and it will be very much a community project, with an opportunity for everyone to contribute.

I am pleased to announce that the Board has asked trustees Andrea Conklin Bueschel ’90 and Gregory Ehret ’91, P’23 to serve as co-chairs of the search committee, and they have graciously accepted. Andrea brings deep experience in higher education and has served as the long-time chair of the Board’s Committee on Academic Affairs. Greg, as announced on July 7, will become the next chair of the Board on July 1, 2023. Andrea and Greg are currently consulting with Board leadership and colleagues on campus to consider how best to identify members for a search committee that will be composed of trustees, faculty, staff, and students. 

We have retained the services of Isaacson, Miller (IM) as our partner in this search. IM is a national leader in executive searches with particular strength in higher education, and the firm has assisted Bates with successful searches in the past. The IM team will be led by partner Kathryn Barry, who brings extensive experience with liberal arts colleges. We have asked Jen Blanchard, Senior Writer and Assistant to the President, and Mike Hussey, Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, to provide administrative support to the search.

Finally, we have created a dedicated email account for members of the Bates community to send questions or comments throughout the process: presidentialsearch@bates.edu. There will also be many structured opportunities to provide feedback in the coming months.

Andrea and Greg will be in touch with further updates as the search proceeds. 

Meanwhile, have a terrific rest of the summer.

All my best,

John Gillespie ’80, P’13, P’18
Chair of the Board of Trustees