Search Committee Updates

PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH COMMITTEE UPDATE
October 27, 2017

Dear Mars Hill University Family and Friends,

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am pleased to let you know that our Search Firm – Coleman Lew + Associates, is hard at work publicizing/promoting the position of MHU President, screening applications, and vetting and interviewing prospective candidates.  Below is a recap that includes the most current information.

  1. Position officially posted on the MHU and Coleman Lew + Associates websites on September 20, 2017.
  2. Position posted online in The Chronicle of Higher Ed and Inside Higher Ed on September 29, 2017.
  3. Position Description has been sent to several potential candidates and/or sources.
  4. Numerous phone calls have been made to potential candidates and/or sources.
  5. We are encouraged by the positive response and interest the position posting has already generated and continues to generate.

Although a timeframe is very tentative at this point, my hope is to complete the application phase and hold preliminary and final interviews so that the Presidential Search Committee will be positioned to make a final recommendation(s) to the Board of Trustees at their March meeting.

We will continue to keep you informed. In the meantime, we greatly appreciate your continued understanding, patience, support and prayers.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Buchanan Pappas ‘70
Chair
Presidential Search Committee

PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH COMMITTEE UPDATE
September 27, 2017

Dear Mars Hill University Family and Friends,

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am pleased to let you know that the position description for the next Mars Hill University president is now posted. It took several months to reach this point in the process, but we feel this period of intense committee work has been well worth the wait. The position description is a direct reflection of the input we received from our Board of Trustees and other MHU constituent groups. Working with our search firm, Coleman Lew + Associates, we’ve crafted a description which clearly defines for prospective candidates the responsibilities and preferred qualifications of the next MHU president. You may read it on the Coleman Lew website.

In addition to the Coleman Lew site, we’re posting the position description on our own MHU website and placing online ads in several higher education publications. We also want to encourage our alumni, friends and community to refer outstanding candidates who have the necessary credentials, experience, qualities and values to effectively serve as our next president. Please contact our consultants, Ken Carrick or Janny DeLoache, at MHUPresident@colemanlew.com, to make a referral.

We will generate a candidate pool over the next several weeks from these search resources. Our consultants at Coleman Lew will assist us in reviewing the applications, conducting preliminary interviews and narrowing the list to those top candidates who best fit our presidential profile of responsibilities and preferred qualifications. The Presidential Search Committee will make all decisions as to which candidates move forward to any subsequent interviews.

As we enter this critical phase of the process, I seek your understanding and sensitivity to the committee’s need to maintain an appropriate balance between sharing information and maintaining confidentiality. If search committee members appear hesitant in their responses about the progress of the search, please realize that their desire to be discreet is essential to the overall success of the process.

This is an exciting time in our history as we embrace the opportunity to select another extraordinary leader for our university. However, I also know that transitional times like this can evoke feelings of anticipation and uncertainty. Please know that the Presidential Search Committee and Board of Trustees have a genuine love for our great university, a deep appreciation for its mission and values and a unified purpose in identifying and selecting the individual who can best lead Mars Hill University.

We will keep you informed by providing the next update when the committee is ready to begin the interview process. In the meantime, we greatly appreciate your continued understanding, patience, support and prayers.

Sincerely,

Cheryl Buchanan Pappas ‘70
Chair
Presidential Search Committee

AUGUST 8, 2017

DEAR MARS HILL UNIVERSITY FAMILY AND FRIENDS,

The MHU Presidential Search Committee continues to make great progress. Since our last update in May, the committee has met two more times. Our main focus in those meetings was to select a search firm to help us as we move into the next phase of the presidential search process.

We narrowed a list of about 75 potential search firms to three highly respected firms that we felt were most suitable for our particular search. Leaders of those firms visited campus in June and presented their proposals.
I am pleased to announce that, after careful consideration of the proposals, the committee voted unanimously to partner with the search firm of Coleman Lew + Associates of Charlotte, North Carolina. Coleman Lew is a national, retained executive search firm with many years of experience in recruiting for leadership in academic institutions. Their focus in higher education has been on private, liberal arts institutions similar to Mars Hill. Top executives of Coleman Lew, including its president, will be working closely with the search committee. Their extensive experience will be invaluable as they advise and guide us through the recruitment, interview, and selection process.

Our next task is to work with Coleman Lew to finalize and approve the position prospectus. This document will summarize the qualifications and characteristics we are seeking in our next university president, and will include input that many of you contributed during our listening sessions earlier this year. With the prospectus finalized, we will be well positioned for the next steps of the search process.

We anticipate that by mid-September we’ll be ready to post the position on both the MHU website and the Coleman Lew website. We also plan to advertise the position in well-known higher education resources such as the Chronicle of Higher Education. We expect to receive applications from many talented candidates and will continue to keep you updated as the process moves forward.

In closing, let me assure you that every member of the search committee is fully dedicated to the responsibility of the task before us. We are deeply committed to representing the voices of those who care so much about the rich history, culture, traditions, and values that are unique to Mars Hill University. We appreciate your continued prayers, interest, support, and involvement. They are essential to the successful completion of the presidential search.

Sincerely,
Cheryl Buchanan Pappas ‘70
Chair
Presidential Search Committee

May 18, 2017

DEAR MARS HILL UNIVERSITY FAMILY AND FRIENDS,

Since 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