University News

Search for president enters next stage

Statement shows shift to ‘private’ phase

By
Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The search for the University’s 19th president turned a corner yesterday with the release of a statement from the presidential search committees.

The committees, which have been “listening to and reflecting upon” input from the Brown community, will now move to identifying and reaching out to potential candidates for the University presidency, said Corporation Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76.

The presidential search, which has been characterized thus far by forums and discussions, will now move to a more “private phase,” Chung-I Tan, professor of physics and chair of the Campus Advisory Committee, told the faculty at yesterday’s faculty meeting.

The statement distills much of the input the committees have so far received, he said. Published yesterday afternoon, it defines the next president as someone who can “embody and evolve Brown’s identity with imagination, courage and resourcefulness.” It mentions specifically the undergraduate college, Graduate School, Alpert Medical School, School of Engineering and the developing public health program.

The next president, the document says, should emphasize globalization and international competition, expansion in Providence and Rhode Island, enhancement of the University’s research profile and allocation and expansion of its financial resources.

But these foci do not necessarily reflect the University’s definite future, Tisch noted. “It helps to give us a framework of where we are and where we might be going as a community,” he said.

At this point in the search process, Tisch said there is no cohesive idea of what traits the next president should possess.

Administrative searches typically publish a document outlining the University’s recent history and future outlook, he said.

The document can be found online at the University’s presidential search page.