Search Committee Begins Work

August 16, 2012

August 10, 2012


TO:  Members of the Wabash College Community

FROM:  Kevin Clifford ’77, Chair, Presidential Search Committee

SUBJECT:  The search for the next president of Wabash College

This is the first of several messages I will send in an attempt to keep you informed about our search for the College’s next president. For your information, the Search Committee membership is listed at the end of this memo. As the search proceeds, there will be times when the committee will reach out to various constituencies in an effort to enhance our understandings and enrich our work. We approach our task with a united commitment to do what is best for Wabash, regardless of our institutional roles. As a result, we will benefit from specific input from various parts of the College family from time to time. 

We have identified the search consultant, Dr. Thomas B. Courtice of AGB Search, who will be assisting us with all aspects of the work before us. Tom has eight years of search experience and nearly four decades of prior accomplishment in college administration. Tom is familiar with Wabash as a result of spending 10 years as president of Ohio Wesleyan University before becoming a search consultant.

The Search Committee met for the first time on Wednesday, August 8, and received our charge from Board of Trustees Chairman Stephen Bowen ’68, reviewed and signed a confidentiality agreement, and approved a detailed search timeline.

The first critical step in the search process, the pre-search study, is scheduled to occur late in August (8/27 – 8/29), shortly after the beginning of the fall term. Tom Courtice will meet with various constituencies, on-campus, off-campus, and via teleconference, to learn more about the attributes Wabash hopes to see in its next president. I encourage your direct participation in this important pre-search conversation. We realize that this is a very busy time in the academic year, but it is essential that we get the search started as soon as possible.

Tom’s conversations with you have three primary purposes:

  • To ensure that he will be better informed about Wabash, thereby performing his consultative role with full understanding;
  • To give all constituencies an opportunity to register their views about the College’s future needs and priorities; and
  • To enable Tom and the Search Committee to produce a Presidential Search Profile that outlines the key opportunities and challenges facing our next president and a related set of presidential attributes and talents that we all desire.

As the executive assistant to the search committee, Jim Amidon will be developing a comprehensive interview schedule for these meetings. We ask that you respond with your participation and your best thinking about Wabash’s future. If you have any questions at this early stage, please let me know (

Thank you in advance for your engagement in the pre-search study and your support of the search itself.


Wabash College Presidential Search Committee

Jennifer Abbott, Chair of the Rhetoric Department

Jim Amidon ’87, Senior Director of Communications and Marketing

Joe Barnette’61, Retired Chairman and CEO, Bank One Indiana

Steve Bowen ’68, Senior Partner, Latham and Watkins

Kevin Clifford ’77, President and CEO, American Funds

Jim Davlin ’85, Vice President Finance, Treasurer, General Motors Company

David Lewis ’81, VP-Global Taxes, Chief Tax Executive, Assistant Treasurer, Eli Lilly & Co.

Jeff Perkins ’89, Vice President, Chief People Officer, National Public Radio

Lon Porter, Chair of the Chemistry Department

Bill Wheeler ’83, Executive Vice President & CFO, MetLife, Inc.

Kealoha (Kay) Widdows, John H. Schroeder Interdisciplinary Chair in Economics


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