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08/30/2012

Winthrop Search Committee Sets Next Three Key Dates

Quick Facts

 The presidential position to be available in Summer 2013 will be advertised starting Sept. 7.
 Oct. 12 is the target date for receipt of applications and nominations to succeed long-standing President Anthony DiGiorgio.

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Kathy Bigham
ROCK HILL, S.C. – The committee that is leading the national search for the next president of Winthrop University today set three key dates for the next steps in the process:

• An announcement of the position opening will begin to appear Sept. 7 in a number of national higher education publications;
• A series of three feedback sessions have been set for Sept. 14 to give students, faculty/staff, and public stakeholders an opportunity to help refine criteria that will used in evaluating candidates, and
• Oct. 12 was set as the target date for receipt of nominations and applications from candidates who want to qualify for “fullest consideration.”

“Winthrop’s next president should possess a deep appreciation for the nature and value of a national caliber education in the liberal arts tradition,” the position announcement will proclaim. It also will include key information about Winthrop, its enrollment, its student body and its history.

Search and Selection Committee (SSC) Chair Kathy Bigham of Rock Hill said the vacancy announcement will be a “generic statement of the experience and expertise expected of those who are nominated or apply for consideration. The emphasis now is on telling potential candidates about the nature and character of Winthrop today, and the upcoming vacancy. We fully expect that interested parties who don’t know Winthrop well already will come to Winthrop’s Presidential Search website to learn more, and then contact our search consultants as indicated in the announcement.”

In July, Winthrop hired Greenwood/Asher & Associates of Miramar Beach, Fla., to assist in the process. Dr. Jan Greenwood, who has conducted more than 500 successful searches after serving as the president of two institutions herself, is working with the search committee. Her role is to help develop the pool of applicants, assist the search committee in its review process, and provide on-going guidance, including the development of an employment contract that will be the final step in the appointment of the next president.

Winthrop’s position announcement will be circulated in both print and on-line editions of the Chronicle of Higher Education, and on-line in Inside Higher Education, plus other national higher education journals where placement will help ensure that Winthrop “casts the widest possible net in looking for our next leader,” according to Winthrop staff working with the SSC.

Concurrent with that process, Bigham said, will be outreach to the campus community and general public for feedback on the qualities and characteristics of the next president as adopted by the Board of Trustees in June, as well as refining the list of challenges and opportunities the next president can expect to face at Winthrop in coming years.

“Through the summer, we received some input through the search committee’s web site,” Bigham said. “Now that our campus community has reassembled from summer break, we can begin reaching out to students, faculty/staff, and the community with in-person opportunities for members of each group to provide feedback.”

The three feedback sessions for specific audiences will be held in Dina’s Place inside the DiGiorgio Campus Center as follows on Sept. 14:

• Students: 1-2 p.m.
• Faculty-staff: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
• Public stakeholders: 4:30-5:30.

The 10-member search committee was named by Winthrop Board of Trustees Chair Dalton Floyd after long-standing President Anthony DiGiorgio in March announced his plan to retire from the presidency in Summer 2013, after 24 years at Winthrop’s helm.

The search committee is responsible for identifying 3-5 candidates who possess the experience, qualities and characteristics that will be needed to lead Winthrop into the future. The names of those individuals will be provided to the Board of Trustees, which has the legal responsibility for choosing the next president.

Bigham said that ideally, finalists will be named in late January and then brought to Rock Hill for meetings with the campus community and local leaders as the final stage of the vetting process. Feedback on the finalists will be sought from each group after the visits and provided to the trustees for consideration in making their final choice, Bigham said. The choice is expected to be made sometime in Spring 2013, she added.

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