By KELLY EMMRICH
The Presidential Search Advisory Committee at the University of Mary Washington posted a presidential search leadership statement which outlines the expectations that the community has for the school’s 10th president.
The 20-member group is searching for a president who will think outside the box and encourage creativity to students on campus, according to the statement released by UMW. “[A] dynamic president with unquestioned character and integrity who understands and values the liberal arts,” the statement reads.
A few responsibilities of the president include, but are not limited to, having a partnership with the Board of Visitors, faculty, staff and administrators to develop the university and all of its programs, possessing a certain respect for the traditions and history of the school, promoting a more culturally aware environment for the community and supporting the liberal and scientific agenda within the community.
UMW’s current president and ninth president overall Rick Hurley, announced last spring that he will be retiring at the end of the 2016 spring semester effective April 30. President Hurley’s current duties, as well as the responsibilities of the president’s nine-member cabinet, include several renovations that were made to the campus and information about the sports teams and overall student character.
Hurley has been president since July 1, 2010 and in his career at UMW, he served as chief financial officer, executive vice president and acting president in the Mary Washington community. Prior to coming to Mary Washington, Hurley was vice president for Longwood University from 1985 to 2000.
As an attempt to showcase a multitude of voices, the statement was developed over the course of several weeks, utilizing feedback from stakeholders and students, faculty and community members who attended the public forums, which took place at the end of August. According to Cuellar, the statement was then designed to reflect UMW’s core principles, its culture and its responsibilities for the next president.
It also worked to address recent construction projects, to which UMW invested more than $500 million. This sum went towards constructing the Anderson Center convocation and athletic area, renovating Monroe Hall, expanding Lee Hall’s services, constructing the Information and Technology Convergence Center, later named after Hurley himself, and the new University Center.
The new president needs to provide leadership and direction, and they need to motivate the staff, faculty and students to achieve common goals for the University, according to the statement. “This position offers the opportunity to play a defining role in shaping the future of the University of Mary Washington.”
UMW student, Samantha Rollin, a sophomore theatre major, is personally hoping for a UMW president who will take into consideration the opinions and ideas of the student body.
“I guess I just want a president who’s fair and understands the needs of everyone. I want someone who will give everyone, even minorities, a fair ear,” Rollin said.
Overall, the responsibilities of the president are meant to be expansive, and there are constant issues that arise in the day-to-day work life. The next president is expected to understand the tradition and principles that the students, the staff, the faculty and the past nine presidents have created for UMW.
The BOV’s goal toward students, according to Cuellar, is to be transparent. However, they cannot disclose the potential candidates during the search.
“It is the desire of the Search Advisory Committee to be as transparent as possible throughout the search, while also carefully protecting the confidentiality of specific candidates who are being considered for the position,” Cuellar said.
To follow the presidential search, students can go to: president.umw.edu/search/.