The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

Presidential Finalists to Visit Reed

Newly chosen finalists in Reed’s search for a new college President are “tentatively scheduled” to visit Reed on March 28 through 31 and April 2 through 5, according to an email sent to the community on Tuesday. The Presidential Search Committee spent eighteen hours in meetings last weekend interviewing semi-finalists and narrowing the pool to the finalists they want to visit. Staff, faculty, and fifteen students will meet with the finalists, who will also tour campus. According to the email, the “approximately 85” members of the community “will be asked to sign a written confidentiality agreement.”

Of the fifteen students who meet with the finalists, six will be students who hold Student Body positions, says ex-Student Body President Nora McConnell-Johnson ’12, the only student member of the Presidential Search Committee. Student Body President Brian Moore ’13, one Senator, two members of Honor Council, two members of Judicial Board, and nine student volunteers chosen by lottery will meet with each finalist. “It’s a two-way process. We have to like them, but they also have to like us,” said McConnell-Johnson. “We have to show them why this is a good place to be president.” The application to meet with finalists, emailed to the Student Body Wednesday night, will close on March 19. Nine students and five alternates will be chosen in an open lottery on March 20 in the Student Union.

Students will be invited to volunteer in an announcement expected in the next Student Body Info. McConnell-Johnson, who designed the system by which students would be chosen, said that she had hoped that more students would be able to meet with finalists, but that candidates would not have enough time on campus for additional interviews. “This is the best compromise. I’m confident that we will get a representative group.” She continued, “I’m concerned that students will see this as not  a representative enough group, and I hope they can see that it’s the best solution in finding a representative and effective group of students. I want to be as transparent as possible in getting people involved.”

The Presidential Search Committee will make its recommendation to The Board of Trustees, which hopes to vote for the new president on April 19, though McConnell-Johnson said that the vote may be delayed.

McConnell-Johnson was confident about the current pool of finalists. “I feel really good. I’m excited about the students meeting the finalists, and what they have to say about them. It’s a really diverse group of people, so I think it will be really exciting. There was more than one who I could imagine sitting in the president’s office.” She concluded, “I think they’d all be a good fit for Reed.”

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