Presidential Search Committee
To: West Chester University Community
From: Senator Tommy Tomlinson, Chair of the Council of Trustees
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2023
Re: Process for Recommending Presidential Appointment of WCU’s Next President
Following the recent announcement from President Fiorentino about his planned retirement in June of 2024, I am writing to provide the University community with an update on the process for selecting the next president of West Chester University.
First, per Board of Governors’ policy, Chancellor Dan Greenstein has consulted with me and has decided to initiate the search immediately, with the goal of the Board making an appointment of our next University president effective no later than June of 2024, avoiding the need for an interim president.
Moreover, it is the responsibility of the University’s Council of Trustees to nominate and the State System’s Board of Governors to appoint the president of each institution within the State System of Higher Education. According to the State System’s enabling legislation, the Council of Trustees has responsibility to “make recommendations to the Chancellor for the appointment of the president following input by students, faculty, staff and alumni who reflect the diversity of the institution.” The trustees will gather that input by appointing a search committee that is representative of the University community. The search committee will make a recommendation to the Council of Trustees, which has the sole responsibility for transmitting its recommendation to the Chancellor who will submit the name or names of individuals recommended to the Board of Governors. It is the Board of Governors who is responsible for appointing the University’s next president from the “name or names of individuals submitted by the council of trustees.” More information about this process can be found in Act 188 of 1982 as amended (see sections 2005-A(4); 2006-A(2); & 2009-A(a)(1)), State System Policy 1983-13-A , and Office of the Chancellor Procedure/Standard Number 2021-50 .
The Chancellor and I, as chair of the Council of Trustees, have agreed to begin the work of constituting the Presidential Search Committee immediately, identifying all members by the beginning of the third week of September 2023.
Under Procedure/Standard Number 2021-50, as referenced above, “the chairperson of the Council shall form a committee, with the advice and consent of the Council, to be known as the Presidential Search Committee consisting of” twelve to fifteen members, as outlined below:
- Three trustees, elected by the Council.
- One executive from the University, selected by the Council after consultation with
those executives; the executive selected shall not report directly to the president.
West Chester University of Pennsylvania is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education
- Two faculty members, one selected by faculty election (APSCUF has agreed to run this election), and one selected by the faculty collective bargaining unit. An alternate will also be designated for each of these two positions.
- Two non-instructional persons, one selected by the leadership of the non-instructional bargaining units (the University’s CHRO will consult with the non-instructional bargaining unit leaders) and one selected by the Council. An alternate will also be designated.
- One student (not a trustee) selected by the student government and an alternate.
- One alumna/us (not a trustee) selected by the alumni association and an alternate.
- Up to three others within the University, including students, selected by the Council to assure appropriate involvement by constituency, gender, race, generation, etc.
- The University’s chief diversity officer shall serve as a non-voting advisor to the committee and shall be included in all meetings.
- One member of the Board of Governors appointed by the chair of the Board; and
- One current or former president/chancellor from a comparable university, from a list designated by the chancellor (non-voting).
- The Chancellor will appoint a staff liaison to the Council, who, as a nonvoting member of the Presidential Search Committee, will assist the Council and Chancellor in conducting the search.
- The chairperson of the Council shall appoint the chair of the Presidential Search
Committee, subject to the approval of the Council, who shall be one of the three University
trustees serving on the committee.
- Note: Whether and/or how an alternate is allowed to participate prior to being activated as a full member of the committee will be determined and communicated by the chair of the Presidential Search Committee at the beginning of the process.
As Chair of the Council, I have appointed Andrew Lehman, vice president for university affairs and chief of staff, as the WCU staff liaison to the Council of Trustees and the chair of the Presidential Search Committee. Mr. Lehman will serve as the single point of contact for any related questions and will work with Ms. Nancy Santos Gainer, senior associate vice president for university communications and marketing, to assist with any media inquiries.
Should you have any questions about the process outlined, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.