Presidential Search

Mars Hill University is a premier private, liberal arts institution offering over 30 baccalaureate degrees and master's degrees in elementary education, criminal justice, and management. Founded in 1856 by Baptist families of the region, the campus is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Following Dr. Lunsford’s January announcement that he will be resigning after serving as President for 15 years, Mars Hill University Board of Trustees launched a search for our next leader.

Dear Mars Hill University Family and Friends,

Cheryl Pappas Pres SearchSince being formed in February, the Mars Hill University Presidential Search Committee has met twice, first on April 24, 2017, and then on May 11, 2017. I am pleased to report that there has been excellent participation from all committee members and that the meetings have been highly productive. Here are some updates regarding the search process and the significant progress thus far.

One of the committee’s first tasks involved holding input sessions to collect invaluable insight and perspectives from a broad spectrum of Mars Hill University constituencies. The committee felt it was essential to give the board of trustees, board of advisors, alumni board, community members, students, staff, faculty, and retired personnel an opportunity to respond to questions focused on the leadership qualities, core values, essential attributes, and skills desired in our next university president. The information gathered from these sessions will be of great benefit in forming the prospectus and presidential profile.

The search committee voted unanimously to engage a search firm to assist us with publicizing the position, as well as the subsequent application and interview process. We presented that decision to the trustee executive committee and the full trustee board and received their approvals. The committee now has embarked on the crucial step of carefully evaluating and determining the search firm that will be the “best fit” for the Mars Hill University presidential search.

Each member of the search committee has approached this undertaking with utmost gravity and a strong sense of purpose. We understand the transformational importance of the task we face and greatly respect the process that will help us attain our ultimate goal: selection of the presidential nominee(s) to present to the board of trustees.

The presidential search process requires detailed planning, careful thought, extraordinary patience, and decisive action. The committee has resolved to be as transparent as possible and will provide updates as the search process continues to evolve.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Buchanan Pappas ‘70
Chair
Presidential Search Committee