W&M presidential search committee enters "quiet phase"

Contact Reporterwwright@vagazette.com

The College of William and Mary’s Presidential Search Committee met Friday to discuss their process of looking for candidates to replace president Taylor Reveley.

Reveley will retire in June 2018 after 10 years at the helm of the university. The search committee members — who include faculty, staff, members of the Board of Visitors, one current student and one recent graduate — are considering candidates for the position.

During earlier phases of their search, members met with dozens of groups within the campus community to discuss what they wanted to see in the institution’s next president.

The process will not be nearly as open through the end of 2017, search committee chairman H. Thomas Watkins said.

“I think a lot of people are under the impression that it is a closed search,” Watkins said. “It is simply a confidential search.”

In three separate April 19 meetings, the search committee met with faculty, students and staff for feedback on what they should look for in the college's next president.

Comments ranged from looking for someone who understands why diversity matters on a college campus, to finding a leader who is intimately familiar with academia.

John Littel said he has heard rumors about the progress of the board’s candidate search.

There are many people who think the board has a preferred candidate, Watkins said.

“The rumor mill has been very active, as we all know,” Watkins said.

By February 2018 at the latest, the committee will bring two to three candidates to the Board of Visitors for their consideration.

There currently are no plans to release the names of any finalists before the full board makes its decision.

“It has been difficult to do campus-wide communication because we’re at a phase where there isn’t much we can say,” Watkins said.

Wright can be reached by phone at 757-345-2343.

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