Chancellor Search Advisory Committee releases report detailing community feedback

The report, released Sept. 18, revealed a focus on inclusivity and academics and consisted of mostly alumni feedback.

Kirkland+Hall+%28Photo+by+Emily+Gon%C3%A7alves%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Chancellor Search Advisory Committee releases report detailing community feedback

Kirkland Hall (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

Kirkland Hall (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

Emily Gonçalves

Kirkland Hall (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

Emily Gonçalves

Emily Gonçalves

Kirkland Hall (Photo by Emily Gonçalves)

Drew Smith

Four months of community feedback on the Chancellor search were laid out in the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee’s report published Sept. 18. The committee received 1,677 responses from its survey of students, faculty, staff and alumni about what they would like to see in the next Chancellor, and connected face-to-face with 2,500 people in the Vanderbilt community regarding the search. 

The Chancellor Search Advisory Committee was made up of representatives of Vanderbilt administration, faculty, staff and students, with the goal of identifying the missions the next chancellor should pursue and what the qualities of the individual should be. The primary conclusion was that the Vanderbilt community broadly supports the direction the university has taken in the last ten years, the Committee said. This search comes following previous Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos stepping down in Aug. due to health reasons.

The largest group which submitted feedback for criteria for our next Chancellor was Vanderbilt alumni. In its analysis of community survey responses, the Committee found that 41 percent of respondents were alumni and 21 percent were current students while staff and faculty both submitted 15 percent of responses. The rest of the respondents were parents of students, community members or other concerned individuals. Submissions were summarized rather than posted in their entirety to protect the identities of the people who provided comments, Head of Chancellor Search Advisory Committee John Geer said.

Diversity was the topic most addressed by those surveyed, with 1,156 people mentioning diversity in their survey responses. Academics came second, mentioned just over 1,000 times. Another topic of concern was the field the next Chancellor should be drawn from. Eighty eight percent of people said that they wanted the next Chancellor to have experience in academia. 

Respondents were split on whether they wanted one of our own to fill the position: 42 percent said they would like someone from Vanderbilt to become Chancellor and 45 percent said they would like the position filled by an outsider, while 13 percent were indifferent.

The report stated that the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee hopes it will serve to accurately represent the desires of the Vanderbilt community with regard to the selection of the ninth Chancellor. With the report’s publication, the Committee disbanded.

The search committee has been waiting for the report to help guide the assessment of potential candidates and develop criteria for the search for our next chancellor,” Geer said. “I also think the report is of value to the larger community.  It tells all of us where we stand as a community.”

From here, the Chancellor Search Committee, comprised of 15 current and former Board of Trust members appointed by Board of Trust chairman Bruce Evans, will begin the hiring process for the next Chancellor.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story