Search Committee seeks Chabotar’s successor

Do you know any educators who are collaborative, smart with money and can communicate effectively with students, faculty and staff?

How about someone who understands and lives by the Guilford core values and embodies all that makes Guilford unique?

If so, tell them that Guilford is hiring.

On June 30, 2014, Guilford’s current president, Kent Chabotar, steps down after 12 years of leadership. Before that happens however, a replacement must be found.

The search for the next president ramped up over the summer with the formation of the Presidential Search Committee.

“No one person can meet all the criteria suggested by the Board, faculty and others,” trustee and Presidential Search Committee chair Carole Bruce said in an email. “Strong leadership skills to lead the College in the manner of Friends in strategy, academic quality, fund raising, financing and student life are among the core requirements.

“The Search Committee is currently accepting nominations from all members of the Guilford Community.”

At this point, the search process is in its infancy.

“The search committee has met once in July,” Suzanne Ingram, assistant director of communications and marketing and staff representative for the committee said in email. “We introduced ourselves and explained our roles at the College. We were presented with the charge to the committee from the Board of Trustees.”

The charge laid out responsibilities and a deadline of Jan. 31, 2014, for when the Board expects the search committee’s short list of three qualified candidates.

The committee is composed of representative members from among faculty, staff, traditional students, CCE students, current administration, the Board of Visitors, alumni and the trustees.

The committee has also received feedback from faculty in the form of the “Faculty Statement on the Next President of Guilford College.”

Search committee members expressed that it is early in the process, but they are highly committed to the best outcome of this important search.

“I have been teaching here since 1999,” said Jim Hood, English professor and committee member. “I am an alumnus and both my children went here. I want to ensure the future of the college.”

Junior Lyes Benarbane voiced similar goals from a traditional student perspective.

“I am very committed to this position (on the search committee),” said Benarbane. “Guilford has nestled itself very deeply where my commitments lie. I think I can leave an important legacy for the next hundred years. It is most important that the undergraduate educational level for traditional students is at the fullest it can be.”

Kami Rowan, associate professor of music, offers three goals that most of the committee members would agree with.

“I want a president that can deal with all factions of the college and work well with them,” said Rowan. “Someone who will uphold and support the values of Guilford and manage the financial situation.”

Next in the process is hiring a search consultant firm, along with writing and approving a leadership statement, which is similar to a job description. The search committee welcomes feedback throughout the whole process.

Rowan is excited about this huge transition in the college’s history.

“There’s a lot of forward momentum at Guilford right now,” said Rowan. “I am really excited about where Guilford is in marketing, technology and where our study abroad is going. The new president can really help keep this momentum going.”