Update From Michael Chu and Valerie Smith

To the Bates Community,

The Presidential Search Committee has been hard at work these past months, and we’ve made significant progress since last we wrote to you. We begin this letter by announcing a change in the composition of our committee. Board member Lena Sene ’00 recently resigned from the committee because of an exciting development in her career. She was invited to manage the presidential campaign of Idrissa Seck, a leading candidate in her home country of Senegal. Lena could not pass up such an opportunity and has moved back to Dakar to oversee this important effort. We wish her much success in this new endeavor!

Fortunately, Bates has no shortage of talented and committed board members; we’re delighted to announce that Trustee Sarah Pearson ’75 has agreed to replace Lena on the committee. Sarah brings a wealth of relevant insight and knowledge to this process. She has had a distinguished career in development at Harvard, Cornell, the University of Chicago and most recently as vice president for advancement at Northwestern University. At present, she serves as the chief development officer at the Broad Institute, the research foundation supported by philanthropist Eli Broad. Her nuanced understanding of the characteristics of an effective fundraiser and of what it takes to manage a successful campaign will serve us well during our deliberations.

With regard to the search process, we continue to sustain good momentum and remain on track to announce the new president by the end of the academic year. You’ll be pleased to know that all of the candidates currently under review have made a point of telling us that they were compelled to consider the opportunity because of the college’s strong standing, distinctive history and core values. We will be on campus in late October and will be holding open forums for students, staff and faculty in order to brief them on our progress and answer any questions they may have.

In the meantime, feel free to use this website to convey your thoughts and questions.

With all best wishes,

Michael and Val
Michael Chu and Valerie Smith
Co-Chairs, Presidential Search Committee