Human Resources

Fort Lewis College campus

Presidential Search

Fort Lewis College Presidential Leadership Profile

Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. For fullest consideration, applicant materials should be received by February 1, 2018. Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae and a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described in the Leadership Statement. Materials submitted by finalist candidates will be made public at the finalist stage. These materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to Fort Lewis College’s consultants: Lucy Leske, Ann Yates and Veena Abraham at Documents that must be mailed may be sent to Witt/Kieffer, 2015 Spring Road, Suite 510, Oak Brook, IL 60523.

Fort Lewis College begins collaborative search for new president 

The Board of Trustees for Fort Lewis College has launched its national search for the College’s new president by appointing a 12-person Presidential Search Committee that includes faculty, students, administrators, staff, alumni, and community members, as well as two trustees. President Dene Thomas announced in April that she will retire June 30, 2018.

“Hiring the president is the most important job the Board of Trustees performs,” said Trustee Steven Short, chair of the board. “To assist us, we have charged the committee with conducting a transparent, collaborative search to identify a dynamic leader who will help the College realize its full potential in a very challenging environment.”

The search will begin in earnest in September 2017, culminating in the hiring of the new president in spring 2018, said Trustee Richard Kaufman, the search committee chair. A search firm will be engaged to assist in the process. The new president’s term will begin July 1, 2018. 

 “I am honored to lead an incredibly diverse committee,” Kaufman said. “We are committed to conducting a search process that will be open, inclusive and exhaustive. We invite everyone to participate.”

Joining Kaufman on the committee will be Trustee Ernest House, Jr., who currently serves as the Board’s vice chair.

Search Committee members:

Trustees: Richard Kaufman, Committee Chair; Ernest House, Jr., Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Faculty: Dr. Michael Valdez, Associate Professor of Management, Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees; Dr. David Blake, Associate Professor of Biology, President of the Faculty Senate; and Dr. Sue Kraus, Professor of Psychology and Department Chair

Students: Dustin Fink, President, Associated Students of Fort Lewis College; and Tara Abrams

Administration: Dr. Glenna Witt Sexton, Vice President for Student Affairs

Staff: Tracey Piccoli, Director of Financial Aid

FLC Foundation: Keith Newbold, Chair of the FLC Foundation Board of Directors

Alumni: Matt Taylor, Group President, Integrated Payments and Emerging Channels, Vantiv

Community: Kerry Siggins, CEO, StoneAge, Inc.

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Search Process

Meeting date


First search committee meeting:
October 12
In person

Planning: WK meets with the search committee to plan the search and begin to formulate selection criteria and search strategy.



Constituency input:
October 11-12
FLC on campus

Intake:  WK meets with campus constituents, alumni and parent reps, community members, Fort Lewis Board of Trustees to gather input. 

Second search committee meeting:
October 30, 4 p.m.
In person and teleconference

Approval of plan: WK consultants work with the committee to finalize the Leadership Profile and recruiting plan.  Advertising launched. 

Third search committee meeting/update:
December 14 3-4 p.m.
One hour teleconference call

Update on candidate pool. Discussion of candidate review process.  


Recruiting: Consultants lead active recruiting that is initially wide-ranging and then focuses on the most promising potential candidates.


Candidate review: Committee reviews candidate materials posted on password-protected website and considers consultant insights about candidates.


Communication:  Consultants maintain close contact with committee chairs through regularly scheduled calls.

Fourth search committee meeting: 
February 14 1-4:45 p.m.
In person

Semi-finalist selection: WK consultants meet with the committee to review candidates and identify approximately 10 candidates for preliminary interviews.

Preliminary interviews:
March 1-2
In person, two days
Off-site Denver

Preliminary interviews:  WK consultants support committee through preliminary confidential interviews, followed by selection of three or more finalists for deeper engagement and evaluation.



Due diligence:

References: WK contacts references and verifies credentials; reports provided to committee.

Joint search committee and board meeting:
Two-hour teleconference

Recommendation of finalists: Search committee recommends two or more finalists to the Board. Board approves finalists.

Finalist interviews:
Late March
One to two days per candidate, FLC

Finalist interviews: Finalists participate in a second round of interviews in Denver and on campus with stakeholders 


Board meeting:
April 6

President selection: Campus feedback is provided to Board: Public session for input; executive session for decision; finalist of choice is notified

Finalist negotiations and announcement:

Appointment:  WK consultants support negotiation of terms.


Announcement and transition: Announcement is planned.  Consultants support transition. 


Important dates:

November 23-27 - Thanksgiving recess

December 15, 2017 – January 8, 2018 - Winter Break

March 5-9, 2018 - Spring break

April 1, 2018 - Easter and beginning of Passover

April 6, 2018 - Spring Board Meeting