On Oct. 7, Chair of the Board of Trustees Andrew Nussbaum ’85 updated the college community via email on the search and selection process for the next president of Amherst College. The update followed President Biddy Martin’s Sept. 13 announcement that she will step down as president at the end of this academic year.
In the email, Nussbaum first informed the community that a Presidential Search Committee has been selected. The committee comprises two students, two staff members, three faculty members, one alumnus and eight members of the Board of Trustees, for a total of 16 members. In a statement to The Student, Nussbaum explained that the committee members were each “selected by their peers.” The student members, for instance, were selected from a list prepared by the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) based on applications from students interested in the position.
While the search committee will take the lead in identifying and interviewing candidates, as well as make the final recommendation, all members of the community will have the opportunity to provide input, emphasized Nussbaum. A combination of in-person and virtual sessions will be scheduled over the coming weeks for community members to share their “thoughts on the blend of characteristics and values that would best define Amherst’s next president, as well as … the next president’s essential challenges and opportunities.” Community members can also write to the search committee at [email protected].
The committee will make use of the insights gained from these discussions, along with recommendations by Isaacson Miller — “a leading search firm in higher education and nonprofit leadership” — to identify potential candidates, said Nussbaum. Specific candidate suggestions can also be sent directly to the search firm at [email protected].
The ultimate selection will be made by the Board of Trustees, after the committee has finalized its recommendation. The Board intends for the search to be completed next spring, in time for the new president to take office during the summer of 2022.
Nussbaum concluded his email by thanking Martin and the different constituencies of the college community for their commitment to the college. “Amherst is strong and fortunate, because of all of you, your engagement, your care and your support,” he wrote. “We undertake this important effort with both confidence and high expectations for its success.”