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Presidential Search

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

Initiate Search Process

September-December 2017

  1. Hold search committee chartering session
  2. Finalize job description/criteria, incorporating stakeholder input
  3. Complete collaterals – brochure, webpage, internal communications
  4. Advertise for external candidates/solicit internal candidates or candidates nominated by others

Identify Leading Candidates

December-February 2018

  1. Search committee reviews candidate submissions*
  2. Committee selects candidates to be interviewed*
  3. Committee recommends candidates to submit to board *

Select Finalists

February 2018

  1. Conduct background checks on finalists*
  2. Search committee finalizes recommendations and submits to board*
  3. Board selects finalists and announces publicly

Campus Visits

February-March 2018

  1. All finalists visit campus and meet with students, faculty, staff, administrators, community
  2. Board conducts in-person interviews*
  3. Board receives stakeholder input


February- March 2018

  1. Board selects final candidate, initiates negotiations*
  2. Board reaches final agreement on contract*


March 2018

  1. Board approves contract, announces new president

Ninth FLC President Begins Term

July 2018

* = Executive Session