Presidential Search Letter

The letter can be found below the fold.

>Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 15:34:58 -0400 (EDT)
>From: President.Search@Dartmouth.EDU
>Subject: Update
>Sender: bulkmail.sender@Dartmouth.EDU
>Precedence: bulk

May 21, 2008

Dear Members of the Dartmouth Community:

As many of you will recall, last February President James Wright announced his intention to step down in June 2009. When the Board met in March, Ed Haldeman named Al Mulley to chair the search committee. We are pleased now to update you on the earliest stage of the search for Dartmouth’s 17th president.

Search Firm Consultant

At our most recent meeting with the Alumni Council on Saturday, May 17, we announced the selection of John Isaacson ’68 and his firm Isaacson, Miller as our search consultant. After interviewing several firms, Isaacson, Miller emerged as our clear choice. The firm has conducted hundreds of searches for leading institutions including secretary for the Smithsonian Institution, and presidencies for Brown, Tufts, the University of Pennsylvania, and Vanderbilt. A Dartmouth graduate who also studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and earned a law degree from Harvard, John Isaacson knows Dartmouth well and will bring tremendous wisdom to the search. To read more about the firm, visit:

Community Input

We have solicited input from the community on Dartmouth’s challenges and opportunities and the qualities of leadership needed to ensure the College’s
continued preeminence. We are gathering this input in a variety of ways, including online or by mail at Presidential Search, Post Office Box 242, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755. We welcome your continued suggestions to the Board. To provide your input, visit:

We have also met with the Faculty Committee on Priorities, the Committee on Policy, representatives of the professional schools, the President’s Leadership Council, and the Executive Committee of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience. And we have met in Hanover in six separate sessions with students, faculty, staff, and alumni, both on campus and at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. More public forums will be scheduled with the search committee this fall. For podcasts or transcripts of these forums, visit:

It is clear from the community’s input to date that we share a commitment to Dartmouth’s mission: “To educate the most promising students and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and of responsible leadership, through a faculty dedicated to teaching and the creation of knowledge.”

Many themes are emerging in the hundreds of responses we have received about the qualities of leadership you most value. We are hearing similar words and phrases, such as: highly regarded scholar with a superior mind; insistence on excellence; a record of support for diversity; a proven global leader; a consensus builder; and a highly articulate, warm and compassionate communicator.

You have reminded us of Dartmouth’s responsibility to educate leaders for a global society in which the challenges in our own times are as great, or greater, than those that led former Dartmouth President John Sloan Dickey to tell the incoming class in 1946, “The world’s troubles are your troubles.”

Next Steps

Searches often take nine months or longer to complete, in which case we would be on track for an announcement next spring. The Board of Trustees met on May 6 in New York in the first of two special sessions this month to organize the search. The Board plans to announce the membership of the search committee in early June. The committee will convene this summer. Its first goal will be to finalize the Statement of Leadership Criteria that will be approved by the Trustees and shared with the Dartmouth community.

The Board will continue to be as open and transparent as possible in this search, while preserving the confidentiality necessary to ensure participation by the strongest candidates. Thank you for your continued interest and support as we undertake our search for the president whose leadership will be critical to ensuring the strong, bright future we all want for Dartmouth. We welcome your continued participation as we identify and select the next leader of this exceptional institution. We will continue to update you on the progress of the search.


Ed Haldeman ’70
Chair, Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College

Al Mulley ’70
Chair, Presidential Search Committee, Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College