WEB EXTRA: University forms president search committee

GW’s highest governing body announced this week the members of the search committee for the next University president.

Chairman of the Board of Trustees Charles Manatt announced the 14 members of the committee, which include nine trustees and five non-trustee members.

University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg announced in April that he will be stepping down as GW’s top administrator when his contract expires in July 2007. He has been president of the University for 18 years.

Manatt selected W. Russell Ramsey, a 1981 School of Business graduate and vice chair of the Board of Trustees, to chair the search committee.

“We should have the new generation doing the search, because they are the trustees that are going to be dealing with the new president for a long time,” Manatt said.

Ramsey said he is looking forward to input from students, faculty and members of the Foggy Bottom community.

“(Students) should be comforted that this is a serious committee,” Ramsey said. “One that will be sure the new president embodies all different inputs.”

Manatt said the search committee’s tentative schedule includes examining proposals from outside search firms throughout the summer to make a final decision on whether the committee will use a firm.

Ramsey said he hopes to have a decision on what, if any, search firm would be used by the fall.

“We’re not laying out any specific timelines yet,” Ramsey said.

The search firms, which are located mostly in D.C. and New York, are private companies many colleges and universities around the nation use to fill vacancies in higher education positions.

While Ramsey said no timeline is yet determined, Manatt said an optimal timeline would have a list of 10 to 15 candidates selected by October. He said he hopes to have finalists to present to the Board of Trustees by this December of January 2007.

Manatt said the committee plans to host town hall meetings for students, faculty, staff and community members in the fall to determine “criteria” for the next president.

“This is an exciting positive time for the entire University,” Manatt said.

The nine University Trustees on the committee are Lydia W. Thomas, Cynthia Baker, Joseph L. Brand, Nelson A. Carbonell Jr., Gerald Lazarus, Raymond J. Oglethorpe, Kristy McDonnell Ortiz and Linda Rabbitt.

In addition, the committee will have five non-trustee members including president of the GW Alumni Association Christopher G. Young, Student Association President Lamar Thorpe and professors Gary L. Simon, Philip W. Wirtz and Arthur E. Wilmarth, Jr.

-Brandon Butler contributed to this report

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