Post Classifieds

Search for new president goes national

By Jadie Dow
On May 2, 2017

Castleton University President David Wolk announced on March 8 that he will be stepping down in December 2017, the end of the upcoming fall semester. The Board of Trustees for the university has put together a search committee to find his replacement.

After a forum was held on March 28 to discuss what members of the Castleton community would like to see in the next president, the committee decided it would be best to institute a national search.

Quoted in an article written about the forum by Catherine Twing, freshman Wes Thompson stated that he found a national search to be the best option.

“I think it would be foolish for us to narrow it down to them having to be from Castleton,” he said. “So for that reason I’d say a national search would be best. If they have a Ph.D., that’s better, but not critical, and if they’re from Castleton, fantastic, but it shouldn’t be a determining factor.”

Search committee member and natural sciences professor Helen Mango believes this decision was the right one.

“We had a lot of input from various constituents and everyone wanted a national search. A university president has a big job to do and we felt it was worthy of a national search, even though the best candidate might be across the street,” she said.

Wolk is the longest serving president of the university since 1787, and stated that it is simply time for him to move on.

“I don’t want to stay too long, and I wanted to give them enough time to find someone to replace me. I didn’t want to be that guy,” he said.

Once Wolk retires, he stated that the first thing he wants to do is write a book about leadership. Having served 43 years in public service, he wants to pass on some of the things he has learned.

He and his wife, Lyn Wolk, will also be starting a business called “Wolk Leadership Solutions,” an executive coaching business advising hospitals and nonprofits.

Though Wolk needs to stay a safe distance away from the search for his replacement, he stated that he hopes the next president will be someone who loves the students.

“I’m very happy about the national search. Cast the net far and wide,” he said.

Chancellor Jeb Spaulding recently sent an email to the Castleton community detailing the search and a timeline detailing the process of selecting new candidates.

“Selecting a person with a compelling vision, strong leadership and management skills and an appreciation of the Castleton Way will be critical to ensuring a bright future for this important and beloved institution,” Spaulding said in the email.  

The search committee is comprised of 13 members. Among them is a student representative, Mariah O’Hara. O’Hara is currently enrolled in the education graduate program at Castleton, and is the graduate intern in the Office of Student Activities on campus.

“Searching internally means that we have someone who understands the goals of our institution, but searching nationally means that we are opening the search to someone who may have experience with achieving these goals,” said O’Hara. “We want to be attractive to potential students, but we also want to be sure we are meeting the needs of the students, faculty and staff who are already here.”

Mango said she hopes to continue to see the university expand in the next few years.

“I hope that we continue broadening our reach when it comes to recruiting students, though we do have a firm commitment to Vermont. I like the expansion in Rutland, and I hope to continue the focus on quality academics and a wonderful residential setting,” she said.

The timeline shows that the committee hopes to have a decision made by Oct. 1, allowing five months from the date of the first committee meeting, scheduled for May 1, to find a suitable candidate.

“I’m confident that we’ll find someone we like and I hope that time alone won’t constrain us. Taking someone who is adequate because we ran out of time is not the same thing,” Mango said.

Wolk said that he is grateful for the time he has spent working at the university, and is hopeful for the years to come.

“I have so much Spartan pride. I’m proud of the faculty and students, and I expect that the amazing quality will continue. My heart will always be here,” he said.

 

Castleton University President David Wolk announced on March 8 that he will be stepping down in December 2017, the end of the upcoming fall semester. The Board of Trustees for the university has put together a search committee to find his replacement.

After a forum was held on March 28 to discuss what members of the Castleton community would like to see in the next president, the committee decided it would be best to institute a national search.

Quoted in an article written about the forum by Catherine Twing, freshman Wes Thompson stated that he found a national search to be the best option.

“I think it would be foolish for us to narrow it down to them having to be from Castleton,” he said. “So for that reason I’d say a national search would be best. If they have a Ph.D., that’s better, but not critical, and if they’re from Castleton, fantastic, but it shouldn’t be a determining factor.”

Search committee member and natural sciences professor Helen Mango believes this decision was the right one.

“We had a lot of input from various constituents and everyone wanted a national search. A university president has a big job to do and we felt it was worthy of a national search, even though the best candidate might be across the street,” she said.

Wolk is the longest serving president of the university since 1787, and stated that it is simply time for him to move on.

“I don’t want to stay too long, and I wanted to give them enough time to find someone to replace me. I didn’t want to be that guy,” he said.

Once Wolk retires, he stated that the first thing he wants to do is write a book about leadership. Having served 43 years in public service, he wants to pass on some of the things he has learned.

He and his wife, Lyn Wolk, will also be starting a business called “Wolk Leadership Solutions,” an executive coaching business advising hospitals and nonprofits.

Though Wolk needs to stay a safe distance away from the search for his replacement, he stated that he hopes the next president will be someone who loves the students.

“I’m very happy about the national search. Cast the net far and wide,” he said.

Chancellor Jeb Spaulding recently sent an email to the Castleton community detailing the search and a timeline detailing the process of selecting new candidates.

“Selecting a person with a compelling vision, strong leadership and management skills and an appreciation of the Castleton Way will be critical to ensuring a bright future for this important and beloved institution,” Spaulding said in the email.  

The search committee is comprised of 13 members. Among them is a student representative, Mariah O’Hara. O’Hara is currently enrolled in the education graduate program at Castleton, and is the graduate intern in the Office of Student Activities on campus.

“Searching internally means that we have someone who understands the goals of our institution, but searching nationally means that we are opening the search to someone who may have experience with achieving these goals,” said O’Hara. “We want to be attractive to potential students, but we also want to be sure we are meeting the needs of the students, faculty and staff who are already here.”

Mango said she hopes to continue to see the university expand in the next few years.

“I hope that we continue broadening our reach when it comes to recruiting students, though we do have a firm commitment to Vermont. I like the expansion in Rutland, and I hope to continue the focus on quality academics and a wonderful residential setting,” she said.

The timeline shows that the committee hopes to have a decision made by Oct. 1, allowing five months from the date of the first committee meeting, scheduled for May 1, to find a suitable candidate.

“I’m confident that we’ll find someone we like and I hope that time alone won’t constrain us. Taking someone who is adequate because we ran out of time is not the same thing,” Mango said.

Wolk said that he is grateful for the time he has spent working at the university, and is hopeful for the years to come.

“I have so much Spartan pride. I’m proud of the faculty and students, and I expect that the amazing quality will continue. My heart will always be here,” he said.

 

The Castleton Spartan is the student run newspaper for Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont. The goal of the paper is to inform readers about events, topics and individuals pertaining to the Castleton campus and surrounding community.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More castletonspartan News Articles

Recent castletonspartan News Articles

Discuss This Article

MOST POPULAR CASTLETONSPARTAN

GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY

How often do you read/watch/listen to the news?
Where do you most often see stories from the Spartan?

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format