Search for Penn State President

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As Penn State is in the process of searching for its new president, it is concerning that only one member of the 18-person committee is a faculty member. Staff, professional students, and graduate students are also not represented on this committee. We believe that this composition of the committee is problematic, as faculty, staff, and students are the core of this university.

We, the undersigned, want to express our concern that the search committee is largely devoid of input from people who are employed as faculty or staff at Penn State or who are obtaining advanced degrees at Penn State. We also want to state unequivocally that our next president needs to have extensive experience in higher education. This person needs to have served as a faculty member, to have received an advanced terminal degree (e.g., Ph.D.), to have experience in leadership in higher education, and to have a strong record of scholarly research. To select someone without these qualifications would undermine the educational goals of our institution, would ignore the importance of faculty, staff, and student understanding of the institution and its work environment, and would be profoundly demoralizing to members of Penn State's academic community who work very hard to bring about the best educational experiences and research output that is possible.

We believe that the composition of the committee needs to be reconstituted and/or the search process be substantially revised to reflect faculty, staff, and student input, and that our next president has to have an academic background.