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MEMORANDUM
April 5, 2016

TO: American University Community
FROM: Jack Cassell, Chairman, Board of Trustees
SUBJECT: Presidential Search
______________________________________________________________________________________

 

Building on the significant momentum we have achieved under President Neil Kerwin’s leadership, the American University Board of Trustees is moving swiftly to engage the community in preparations for the search for our next president. Appointing the president is one of the Board’s most important responsibilities. I can assure you that we take our duty very seriously. We will cultivate opportunities for input and communicate with you regularly as we move through the process. I will outline some of the initial decisions we have made, and more detail will follow in the weeks to come.

Search Committee
The search committee will be led by past Board chair Jeffrey Sine, co-founder and partner of the Raine Group. Trustee Gina Adams, senior vice president for government affairs at FedEx, will serve as vice chair. Members of the committee include trustees and representatives of important constituencies, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni. I want to thank all who have agreed to serve in this important role. The search committee members include (alumni denoted with an asterisk):

  • Jeffrey A. Sine*, AU Trustee, Search Committee Chair, founding partner, the Raine Group
  • Gina F. Adams*, AU Trustee, Search Committee Vice Chair, Senior VP, Government Affairs, FedEx
  • Gary D. Cohn*, AU Trustee, President & Chief Operating Officer, Goldman Sachs
  • Marc N. Duber*, AU Trustee, Vice Chair of the Board; Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, The Bernstein Companies
  • Gerald Bruce Lee*, AU Trustee, Judge, United States District Court, Alexandria, VA
  • Betsy A. Mangone*, AU Trustee, Vice President (Ret.), The Denver Foundation, Denver, CO
  • Arthur J. Rothkopf, AU Trustee, President Emeritus, Lafayette College
  • Peter L. Scher*, AU Trustee, Chairman, Washington, D.C., Region and Head of Corporate Responsibility, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Mary L. Clark, Senior Vice Provost & Dean, Academic Affairs
  • Todd A. Eisenstadt, Faculty Trustee-Elect; Chair, Faculty Senate; Professor, School of Public Affairs
  • Andrea Agathoklis Murino*, President, Alumni Board & Partner, Goodwin, Procter, LLP
  • Shyheim Snead*, AU Student, Sophomore School of Public Affairs & Student Trustee-Elect
  • Tiffany Speaks, Senior Director, Center for Diversity & Inclusion
  • Jack C. Cassell*, ex officio, Chair, Board of Trustees, President of Cassell Global Investments

There are two remaining positions on the search committee that will be filled by a student and a faculty representative through an application process. Student applicants must be full-time students in good standing; faculty applicants may be tenure-line or term faculty members. Applicants must submit a 250-word statement sharing why they would add value to the search. Each applicant must provide his/her qualifications and reasons for wanting to serve.

Statements of interest must be submitted to PresSearch@american.edu by the close of business on Monday, April 11, 2016. Applications will be reviewed by the search committee and recommendations made to the full Board.

Next Steps
We are in the final stages of selecting an executive search firm to facilitate a competitive international search. We expect to announce the final selection of our firm in the very near future.

In addition we are scheduling a series of listening sessions with members of the campus community to help the search committee and search firm shape expectations for a position profile that will be used to attract candidates for the AU president’s position. Our objective is to hold a number of these sessions before we get into final exams and the commencement season. We will host additional meetings with other stakeholders in the coming weeks. The initially scheduled presidential search listening sessions are listed below.

  • Thursday, April 14: Session 1 – Staff, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Butler Pavilion, Board Room
  • Monday, April 18: Board of Trustees Open Forum, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Kay Spiritual Life Center
  • Wednesday, April 20: Session 2 – Faculty, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Ward Circle Building, Room 1
  • Wednesday, April 20: Session 3 – Students, 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., Ward Circle Building, Room 1
  • Tuesday, April 26: Session 4 – Alumni, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Mary Graydon Center, Room 200

We will host additional meetings with other stakeholders in the month of May.

Future Efforts
We are working on a website for the presidential search that will allow the AU community to follow our progress and provide input at critical points. We expect the site to go live in the next few days.

Future updates will come directly from the chair and vice chair of the search. I look forward to hearing your ideas and I appreciate your support for the search committee as we engage in the process of identifying the best candidates possible as our next American University president.