Information about the presidential search committee

Eight trustees and four faculty members will comprise the committee that will conduct the search for a successor to President Richard C. Levin, who announced he will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year, after 20 years of service in the Yale presidency.

“The selection of the president is the most important responsibility of the Yale Corporation, and we are committed to recruiting an individual who will be an exceptional leader for Yale in the years ahead and who will continue the extraordinary momentum achieved during Rick Levin’s two decades as President,” wrote Edward P. Bass, senior fellow of the Yale Corporation in a letter to the Yale community.

“When the last Presidential Search was conducted at Yale in 1992-93, the Corporation for the first time invited faculty to serve as full voting members of the search committee, and we will do the same in this search,” said Bass, adding, “We are committed to broad consultation with the Yale community to ensure that we are very well informed about your sense of the attributes needed in Yale’s next president and the issues that he or she needs to address in the years ahead. We are also committed to a robust program of communications with the community throughout the search.”

The search committee will be charged with identifying and screening candidates and with providing a “short list” of several nominees to the full Corporation.

Trustee members

The trustees appointed to the Search Committee are:

Francisco G. Cigarroa ’79, chancellor, University of Texas System

Peter B. Dervan ’72 Ph.D., the Bren Professor of Chemistry, California Institute of 
Technology

Donna L. Dubinsky ’77, founder and board chair, Numenta, Inc. 

Charles W. Goodyear ’80, president, Goodyear Capital Corporation

Paul L. Joskow ’70, M.Phil, ’72 Ph.D., president, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and former Chair of the Economics Department of MIT

Indra K. Nooyi ’80 M.P.P.M., chair of the Board and CEO, PepsiCo, Inc.

E. John Rice, Jr. ’88, founder & CEO, Management Leadership for Tomorrow

Douglas A. Warner III ’68, former chair of the board, JP Morgan Chase, and chair of the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Nominations for faculty members

“To ensure wide community participation in the selection of the four Search Committee members to be appointed from the faculty, I encourage you to write me by noon on Tuesday, Sept. 4, with suggestions and nominations of faculty candidates,” said Bass. Emails should be sent to senior.fellow@yale.edu

“I will ask the Deans of the Professional Schools to review the names submitted from their faculties and to offer suggestions of their own; and I will ask the current and former divisional directors of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as well as Deans Miller and Pollard to review the names submitted from the FAS and to offer their own suggestions.  I will then choose, from the list of names forwarded by the deans and divisional directors, the faculty members for the Search Committee,” wrote Bass. “In my view, the decision in the last search to appoint tenured members of the faculty who have had some administrative experience was wise, and I intend to follow that example.”

Bass added that he would appoint a chair of the search committee from its membership once the committee is fully constituted.

Trustee liaisons to campus constituencies

We are introducing a new mechanism in the search process to broaden contact with and counsel from faculty, students, staff, and alumni,” noted Bass.  There will be a specific trustee from the committee designated as liaison to faculty who will work with the faculty members appointed to the search committee to ensure broad consultation with the faculty. There will also be trustees from the committee designated as liaisons to students, to staff, and to alumni.

“Each will be responsible for ensuring that there are opportunities for wide consultation with each of the constituencies and for working with the campus counselors described below,” said Bass.

The Corporation members assuming these roles will be:

Trustee liaison to the faculty: Paul Joskow

Trustee liaison to students: Peter Dervan, who is a parent of a Yale College graduate of the class of 2012

Trustee liaison to staff: John Rice

Trustee liaison to alumni:  Donna Dubinsky, who chairs the Corporation Committee on Development and Alumni Affairs

Campus counselors to the search committee

We will continue the practice introduced in the 1992 – 1993 search of asking a member of the faculty not on the search committee to serve as faculty counselor to the search committee to be available to faculty members who wish to offer counsel about the future of the university and share their recommendations of candidates,” said Bass. “Any faculty member who so desires can be assured that his or her views will be forwarded to the search committee without attribution. i expect to select the faculty counselor from among the names submitted by the deans and divisional directors.”

Bass said he would also appoint counselors to serve similar roles for students, staff, and alumni. Brandon Levin, the immediate past president of the Yale College Council, will serve as student counselor to the search committee, and Janet Lindner, associate vice president for administration, will serve as staff counselor to the search committee. Both will be available to meet with students and staff, respectively, who wish to convey their thoughts about Yale’s future and the attributes desired for the next president. The views of any student or staff member who so desires will be forwarded to the Search Committee anonymously. Michael Madison, the immediate past chair of the AYA Board of Governors, will be available to any alumni who prefer to convey their thoughts to him rather than directly to the search committee, and he will work with Dubinsky to design ways for alumni ideas and concerns to be conveyed to the search committee.

Open forums on campus and consultation plans

On Friday, Sept. 28, a series of open forums will be held on campus where members of the Corporation will seek advice about the qualities needed in Yale’s next president and the priorities he or she should address. Bass said he anticipated that the Corporation will host separate, open sessions on Sept. 28 for FAS faculty; professional school faculty; Yale College students; graduate and professional school students; and University staff. In addition, members of the Corporation will meet with the deans of the schools, the fas divisional directors, the masters of the residential colleges, the University librarian, and the directors of the museums, among others.

A separate session will be held for alumni delegates to the fall assembly of the Association of Yale Alumni when they gather in New Haven in November. Dubinsky, the trustee liaison to alumni, and Madison, alumni counselor to the search committee, will be reaching out to the Board of Governors of the AYA to design other methods for engaging alumni and communicating with graduates.

Secure email to the search committee

Bass said that in the next week, a confidential email accessible only to the search committee will be set up for those who prefer to write with their suggestions about Yale or who have candidates to recommend. In addition, there will be a website dedicated to the presidential search where committee members will regularly update the community about the progress on the search.

In addition, Martha Highsmith, associate vice president of the university, will serve as chief of staff to the Search Committee.  Confidential messages may be sent to her at martha.highsmith@yale.edu.

“I assure you that the Yale Corporation is deeply committed to understanding the views of the entire Yale community as we undertake the important work of selecting a new president of Yale University in the months ahead,” concluded Bass. “We look forward to hearing your views, and to keeping you informed about the progress of the search.”