I would like to update you on the status of the presidential search and announce the membership of the college’s search committee, which will begin meeting on Monday, September 13. Over the last several weeks, I have been meeting with Susan VanGilder and her team at Storbeck Search—one of the most recognized search firms in higher education—to walk through a preliminary timeline and to discuss a process that would engage our community. Storbeck Search has proven to be a terrific partner that understands our vision and historic commitment to the liberal arts.
Before we move forward, however, it is important that the Storbeck Search team has the opportunity to hear from you about the qualities and characteristics you would like our 19th president to possess. On Tuesday, September 14, they will conduct an on-campus listening tour, with several separate sessions for faculty, staff, and students. More details will be shared next week. I understand how busy the first few weeks of the semester are, so I encourage you to make every effort to put aside time and let your voice be heard.
For alumni, parents, and friends beyond campus, we hope to hear from you as well. The Storbeck Search team has created a survey and is asking those of you not on campus to share your perspectives. This survey is also available to faculty, staff, and students who are not able to participate in-person during the listening tour. That survey, which takes no more than 10 minutes to complete, is now live at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UrsinusCollegePresidentialSurvey
We may also host a Zoom call if there is enough interest from those of you who are not able to attend one of the sessions. We’ll share more information on that possibility next week as well.
I am proud that we are making it a priority to engage the broader Ursinus family in this process. Please note: If you have interest in sharing your thoughts regarding the presidential search with our partners at Storbeck Search, you are welcome to email email@example.com. You are also encouraged to share nominations for those you think should be considered for the position.
The search committee will play a leadership role in several facets of the search. It is a group of 17 individuals who represent the various constituencies and perspectives of Ursinus. Please join me in thanking our colleagues and peers:
Will Abele ’61
Larry Barocas P’21
Patricia Clark Bowman ’73
Phil DeSimone ’12
Cynthia Martin ’78
Kelly Finch Mobley ’82
Nancy Opalack ’71
Mike Piotrowicz ’78
Peg Williams ’80, chair
Meghan Brodie ’00 (Theater)
Patrick Hurley (Environmental Studies)
Rebecca Lyczak (Biology)
Shannon Zottola (Enrollment)
Annparke Sullivan (Advancement)
Erin Stroble ’02 (Athletics)
Michael Green ’23
Chris Tan ’18
I am grateful to these committee members for their service, and I look forward to working with each of them. Our next communication will be sent late next week and will include additional information about the upcoming listening tour on September 14. Thank you for your support!
Peg Williams ’80
Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Dear Ursinus Family,
I am pleased to announce that Margaret “Peg” Williams ’80, a trustee who is also overseeing the college’s strategic planning process on behalf of the board, has agreed to serve as chair of the presidential search committee. A proud alumna of Ursinus, Peg led a distinguished career in the technology sector, having been a transformative voice in the growth of high-performance computing. She exhibits a wonderful ability to both lead and listen, and to view challenges through a multi-dimensional lens—a quality that was first honed during her time here in Collegeville as a student. I’m grateful for her support and her willingness to help guide the college through this important moment in time as we embark on our search for our 19th president.
Peg has begun to pull together a search committee whose members reflect the values and vision of the college. She will provide further updates later this month on the committee’s membership, which—in the spirit of shared governance—will be representative of the college community and include trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
As we lay the groundwork for our national search, Peg and her colleagues will first welcome Storbeck Search, part of the Diversified Search Group network, as our partner in this effort. Storbeck is among the most recognized search firms in higher education, while Diversified Search was just named one the nation’s top five executive search firms in the country by Forbes. Susan VanGilder, managing director, will lead Storbeck throughout this process.
While there is a strong synergy between Ursinus and Storbeck, it is also important to note how unified this campus has been as we head into this transition. Both President Blomberg and Interim President-Elect Marsteller have been incredibly supportive of both this process and Peg’s leadership. All partners share a value system grounded in fairness and honesty, and we are committed to recruiting an exceptionally diverse pool of candidates whose belief in the liberal arts is unquestionable. I am excited about this team and look forward to supporting their work together.Please join me in thanking Peg for taking the helm of the search committee. As mentioned above, our next communication will come later this month, when we will share more information about committee membership and a projected timeline for our presidential search process.
Rob Wonderling P’16
Chair of the Board of Trustees