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Connecticut College faculty say they’ve been shut out of interim president search

Connecticut College
Beyond My Ken
Wikimedia Commons
Connecticut College

Faculty at Connecticut College say they have been shut out by the school’s Board of Trustees in the search for an interim president.

President Katherine Bergeron will step down in late June after protests by students at the College.

A spokesperson for the College said they are using a consultant to find the next Interim President, but faculty will be included in the search for a permanent leader later this year.

Professor Afshan Jafar said typically the Dean of Faculty serves as interim president, but that’s not what’s happening.

“Let the Dean of the Faculty, who would traditionally be in this position anyway, who is the second in command after the President, take up the Interim position,” Jafar said. “But they’ve bypassed that option.

"Now they’re spending more money on a search firm and they’re bypassing faculty expertise all in the name of efficiency and expediency when all of their decisions are actually costing them a lot more and slowing down the process,” she added.

Professor Chris Steiner said Board of Trustee member Les Wong is being considered for the position — which is concerning.

“The majority of the board has been appointed by Katherine Bergeron,” Steiner said. “The person that you mentioned who spoke up at the meeting was appointed fairly recently by Katherine Bergeron because of their friendship with the President and I do think having someone like that in place is really not going to do anything towards moving us forward.”

The spokesperson for the College said he Board of Trustees is working directly with Spencer Stuart, a reputable executive search firm. Board of Trustee member Karen Quint, who is a partner at the consultant firm, is rescued from the appointment process, and she will be retiring from the Board on June 30 after completing her term as vice chair.

"No search firm has been selected yet to assist the Presidential Search Committee," they said. "The College will not comment about potential candidates for the interim or permanent positions."

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.