Student Seeks New School Presidency
Monday, May 3rd, 2010
In January, The New School announced that it would begin searching for a new president after President Bob Kerrey announced that he would not seek a contract extension when it expires in June 2011. The university hoped to involve people from across the New School community to ensure a inclusive process. As a result, anyone can nominate anyone else they'd like to see become the next university president.
Collins, a Lang senior, has taken advantage of this open policy to push forward her vision of what The New School could be.
The Facebook page "Domenique Collins, Next President of the New School," currently has five members.
As stated on the presidential search webpage, "The President is the leader of The New School with ultimate responsibility for delivering its mission and values and enhancing its academic, cultural, social, physical, and financial assets. He/she reports to the Board of Trustees." Under "Key Selection Criteria," there are many things listed, but no specific requirements that would bar a current student, or recent graduate from the office.
Collins currently lives in Seattle, runs a travel blog and works in public relations. She says that this has given her valuable skills. "I understand they were looking for someone older, with more 'experience' for this position, but in these modern times I do believe I have more of the necessary experience than many other contendors," was posted on her blog.
Michael Johnston, the chairman of the board of trustees, announced the presidential search committee on March 10. On the committee there are eight members of the board of trustees, including the chair, as well as one student, two professors, and the dean of Parsons. "Members of the search committee serve as the voice of the entire New School community and share a dedication to the university’s mission and future," states the website. The school also hired Spencer Stuart, an executive search firm, to helm the process.
Johnston wrote in an open letter on the website that "While the selection of president is a Board responsibility, the process must represent the spirit of free exchange that characterizes The New School."
The New School's senior director of communications Peter Taback said in an email, "Nominees for the office of President of The New School are confidential. No member of the Board of Trustees, the search committee, nor any senior administrative leader, would be able to comment on any nominee."
As of now, Collins is the only candidate who has made public her desire to be The New School's new president. "Everyone's been talking about outing Kerrey, and no one talks about how to replace him," said Collins. "If the process is really as arbitrary as nomination and review, then I think the current situation of student disillusionment and faculty dissatisfaction will continue."
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