About Us: Presidential Search

Presidential Search

Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Ph.D., C’96: Letter to the Community

Celeste Watkins-HayesNovember 17, 2014

Dear Spelman College Community:

The search for the 10th president is well underway. On behalf of the search committee, I’m pleased to provide you with this update on our progress.  In September we informed you of the beginning phases of the search, the establishment of the search committee, and key information about the process, including several opportunities for you to participate.  Your response was tremendous.   Nearly 1,000 of you have participated directly in the process by attending listening sessions, completing the survey, sending emails, and submitting nominations or suggestions regarding the next president. Thank you.

We listened to your stories of how Spelman shaped your lives, your dreams for its future, and the aspirations you have for the next president. You will see your thoughts, ideas, and in some cases your exact words reflected in the leadership profile, which is now available on the website.  We will use this profile in our outreach and recruitment of prospective candidates and to inform our decision-making throughout the search process.  We invite you to review the leadership profile carefully and continue to provide us with the names of individuals whose qualifications and experience may be a great match for the position. Please submit your recommendations to www.imsearch.com/5234, or call 202-682-1504 to speak with a representative of our search firm, Isaacson, Miller, if you do not have access to a computer.

During the next phase of the search as we continue to identify, recruit, and evaluate prospective candidates, it is important for us to be mindful of the need for strict confidentiality.  In order to attract the highest caliber of candidates, it is imperative that we be able to guard their privacy so as not to jeopardize their role in their current positions.  

Although we will continue to provide you with regular updates, please understand the need to balance our desire to be appropriately inclusive and transparent with the need to maintain confidentiality.  This is particularly important given the instant accessibility of information through social media and other electronic sources.

As we move into the time of year of celebrations and giving thanks, we wish you and your family a joyful and peaceful holiday season.

Warmest regards,

Celeste Watkins-Hayes, Ph.D., C’96
Vice Chair, Spelman College Board of Trustees
Chair, Presidential Search Committee