An Update From Michael Chu and Valerie Smith

To the Bates College community, 

One of the most important responsibilities of the Bates College Board of Trustees is to recruit, select and appoint the president, a leader who will guide the college toward our highest aspirations for this distinguished institution. We are honored to have been asked by the Bates College Board of Trustees to co-chair the committee; we write now to brief members of the Bates community on our work to date.

With President Hansen’s recent announcement of her departure, Nancy J. Cable, Vice President and Dean of Enrollment and External Affairs, has agreed to serve as interim president. A search committee composed of seven trustees, four faculty members, one member of staff and one student has been appointed. Mary Main, Bates College Director of Human Resources, will provide logistical support for search committee activities throughout the process. Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, one of the leading firms in the area of higher education presidential searches, will assist the committee in the execution of its charge.

On May 12 and 13, we held individual and group meetings with representatives of all campus constituencies: staff, faculty, students, trustees and the athletics department. In each session, we asked participants to reflect upon three topics: the current state of the college, aspirations for the future of Bates, the appropriate personal qualities and professional qualifications of the next president. On May 14 the full search committee met for the first time; drawing on the views expressed during our “listening tour” of the previous two days, we began to draft the advertisement and position description.

In the early stages of the presidential search process, we will be especially concerned to engage a broad group of Bates College constituencies in articulating their hopes for the future of the College and the professional talents and personal qualities they believe the next Bates president ought possess. To that end, we have set up two mechanisms to provide members of the broader community with opportunities to express their views. First, all members of the community are invited to ask questions, make suggestions and nominate candidates in the Comments section of the Presidential Search web site. Second, we have set up a structure whereby specific members of the search committee will function as liaisons with college staff, faculty, students, alumni and parents to ensure that all ideas and opinions are heard and that members of the Bates College community can be kept apprised of our efforts in an appropriate manner.

The objective of the search process is to appoint the next president of Bates by July 1, 2012. All Presidential Search Committee members have agreed that we will be as transparent and inclusive as possible about the process while maintaining an appropriate timeline, and will hold in absolute confidence the names of candidates, both during and after the search. This commitment to confidentiality is critical in order to attract the strongest possible pool of candidates. The members of the search committee are:

J. Michael Chu ’80, P ’12, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee; Member, Bates College Board of Trustees; Managing Partner, Catterton Partners
Valerie A. Smith ’75, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee; Member, Bates College Board of Trustees; Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature, Professor of English and African American Studies, Dean of the College-Designate, Princeton University
Alison R. Bernstein P’09, Vice Chair, Bates College Board of Trustees; Director, Institute for Women’s Leadership and Professor of History, Rutgers University
Michael W. Bonney ’80, P’09, P’12, P’15, Chair, Bates College Board of Trustees; President, CEO and Director, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Marcus C. Bruce ’77, Bates College Professor and Chair of Religious Studies
Matthew J. Coté, Bates College Associate Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of the Faculty
Darrell Crate ’89, Member, Bates College Board of Trustees; President, Easterly Capital
Steve Fuller ’82, P’13, Member, Bates College Board of Trustees; Chief Marketing Officer, L. L. Bean
Jacqui Holmes ’13, student representative
Emily Kane, Bates College Whitehouse Professor of Sociology
John Kelsey, Bates College Professor of Psychology
Lena Sene ’00, Member, Bates College Board of Trustees; Partner, Impact Capital Partners
Gene Wiemers, Bates College Vice President for Information and Library Services, staff representative
Catharine Stimpson, LL.D. ’90, Bates College Trustee Emerita, University Professor at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education and Dean Emerita of the NYU Graduate School of Arts and Science, will serve as an adviser to the committee and as a representative of the Cheney Society

We hope that you will visit the Bates Presidential Search website regularly for updates and information and to post your ideas and suggestions. Thank you for your support during this exciting time of transition at Bates. 


Sincerely yours, 

J. Michael Chu ’80 and Valerie A. Smith ‘75
Co-Chairs, Bates College Presidential Search Committee