Presidential Search Survey Summary

Release date: December 13, 2013

A Message to the Goucher Community from the Presidential Search Committee

The Goucher Presidential Search Committee is indebted to all of the members of the Goucher community who thoughtfully responded to the presidential search survey. We received responses from all segments of our community: faculty, students, staff, trustees, alumnae/i, parents, and friends.  It is evident that Goucher is a community of people who care about the college and who want to be a part of its future. 

The results from the search survey are very useful to the search committee as we review applications from candidates for president of the college. It was evident from your thoughtful comments that most members of the Goucher community are aware of the issues facing colleges today and realize that Goucher is not immune from these challenges. This understanding was borne out when the college’s greatest concerns were identified as financial stability, competitive positioning, and enrollment. Likewise the most important short and longer-term priorities for the new president included financial stability, student recruitment, academic strength, and faculty.

While understanding the difficult current climate for Goucher and all liberal arts colleges, the survey respondents also agreed that Goucher’s greatest strengths are its academic programs, its faculty, and its international experience. Many comments focused on the excellence of the classroom experience and the faculty. From current students to alumnae/i, people value the college’s academic experience and the excellent teaching that makes that possible. There clearly is a belief that a new Goucher president will have the foundation of an excellent academic program, a strong faculty, and the distinction of the international program to meet the challenges in the future.

Respondents to the survey advised the search committee that the three most important characteristics that the new president should demonstrate are: 1) higher-education leadership experience, 2) leadership in complex organizations, regardless of type, and 3) evidence of improving results in areas such as enrollment, revenue, and quality. The Goucher community also values the following attributes in a new president: integrity, the ability to create an environment of trust, effective communication skills, the aptitude for building organizations, and the capacity to champion the vision and mission of the college.

With the guidance of the results of the survey as well as what we heard during the campus listening sessions, the Presidential Search Committee has begun reviewing applications and is still on target for a spring decision on a new president.