Haley Associates Leading President Search for Earlham College

August 16, 2016 – Executive search firm Haley Associates has been retained by Earlham College to lead its search for a new president. Dr. Katherine Haley is leading the assignment.

The successful candidate will assume leadership of the college at a critical juncture in its history. A major repositioning effort designed to capitalize on Earlham’s considerable strengths is well underway, with the goals of increasing enrollment, building recognition and augmenting its revenues.

The president role is essentially the chief executive officer of Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion (ESR) and reports directly to the board of trustees. The position is an ex-officio member of all standing committees of the board of trustees and is responsible for the supervision, management, and governance of the college and ESR.

The next president, according to the position specification, must be an effective “change agent” and a compelling advocate for the college to all audiences. Knowledge of the current landscape of higher education, the challenges facing colleges today, and an understanding of new approaches and methodologies will also be weighed heavily as part of the candidate consideration process.


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The ideal candidate for the position must demonstrate a deep appreciation for the liberal arts and an understanding of the centrality of teaching and scholarship at Earlham. An earned terminal degree is preferable, as well as a demonstrated track record of successful leadership. A passion for and willingness to embrace Earlham’s unique Quaker heritage and work with its distinctive governance traditions will be critical to the incoming president’s success.

Earlham College is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1847 by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and is located in Richmond, IN. Earlham’s graduates have found notable success, as reflected in part by its ranking 23rd in the nation in the percentage of graduates who go on to receive Ph.Ds. and 8th for those who earn Ph.Ds. in the life sciences.

Dr. Haley is the former president of Gettysburg College and Whittier College. As an executive search consultant, she has conducted numerous higher education leadership searches for institutions across the country—including over 35 presidential searches. She also advises colleges and universities on leadership succession, governance and effective board performance.

“As a former liberal arts college president myself, and a veteran of some 35 presidential searches, it’s a particular pleasure and honor to support this search,” said Dr. Haley. “Earlham is one of the gems of higher education—a distinctive and distinguished liberal arts college that is doing some very creative things to enhance the educational experience—focusing on international, independent, experiential and cross-disciplinary learning.”

“Featured in the prestigious Colleges That Change Lives, Earlham is known to transform the lives of its students,” said Dr. Haley. “Seeking a creative, collaborative, enterprising new president who can build on Earlham’s momentum is the priority; it’s a very attractive opportunity to lead an important national liberal arts college.”

Dr. Haley added that the proliferation of social media has deeply impacted the executive search process in higher education, particularly when it comes to candidate confidentiality and finalist interviews. “It used to be that finalists could come to interview on campus and not face the kind of public exposure that comes from the ability of anyone on that campus to publish video, photos, blogs, opinions, evaluations, and critiques instantaneously” via social media, she said.

“While ‘public’ interviewing of finalists has been a tradition in higher education, the social media exposure has led some institutions to consider conducting more confidential finalist interviews in order to protect candidate confidentiality—and keep those candidates in the search,” Dr. Haley concluded.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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