TO: The PLU Community
FROM: Susan Caulkins and Michelle Ceynar, Co-Chairs of the PLU Presidential Search Committee
The Presidential Search Committee is pleased to announce that the Board of Regents has enlisted the services of Korn Ferry, led by Paul Chou as our search consultant. Three of our members comprised a subcommittee which vetted several firms and conducted interviews with finalists, and enthusiastically recommended Korn Ferry’s Global Education Practice. Korn Ferry and Mr. Chou have a solid track record for placing presidents in institutions of higher education, including private liberal arts and religiously affiliated schools. Over 50% of their presidential placements since in 2009 have been women or individuals from underrepresented groups and 65% of their placements are either still in their role or have been promoted within the institution over the past eleven years. Mr. Chou has a multifaceted background in industry as a software engineer, in academia as a professor and development officer, and in the arts as a professional violinist and conductor. He and his firm, then, have global connections filling pools of traditional and nontraditional candidates, both corporate and academic. He impressed the members of the subcommittee during his interview with a deep understanding of leadership behaviors and processes, his experience (both personally and professionally) within liberal arts and faith based higher education institutions, and his broad perspective of diversity.
The Committee has been in a training mode this January. We had an informative and engaging conversation with Dean for Inclusive Excellence, Dr. Jennifer Smith. We read “Mindbugs” from Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Dr. Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald; the article “Driving Campus Diversity One Decision at a Time” by Sharon Davies from a special edition of AAC&U’s publication Liberal Education focused on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation; and watched a Facebook training session on implicit bias to prepare for our initial training. In another session, leaders from 3 pan-university areas: Lutheran Higher Education (Dr. Marit Trelstad, Chair of Lutheran Studies), Division III Athletics (Laurie Turner, Director of Athletics) and Donor Relations (Dan Lee, Vice President for Advancement), provided brief primers for the committee about how their work intersects with the president to help us better understand the broad role and varied expectations for our next president
You can anticipate another update once Mr. Chou is on board and we have a plan to begin our focus group conversations on campus and draft the presidential profile that will guide our search. We are looking forward to beginning our collaboration with Mr. Chou and to engaging all of you in this process soon.