Updates

April 8, 2019

As Chairman of the Claflin Board of Trustees, I wanted to share with the Claflin community an update on the search process and the Board deliberations on selecting the next President for Claflin.

I have participated in the Search Committee for the last six months, and the search process has been thorough and inclusive, with leaders from the student body, faculty, staff and alumni, as well as leaders in the community and the Board of Trustees. This Committee was also supported by one of the nation’s premier search firms, AGB Search, an affiliate of the American Associate of Governing Boards. This team has worked tirelessly through many meetings and weekends to ensure that the process that we followed was complete, inclusive and exhaustive in our evaluation of the best candidates. 

Over fifty qualified candidates applied for the position, and the Committee assessed each of the candidates. Over a series of months, the Committee narrowed the pool down to preliminary finalists who made in-person presentations over two days to the Committee. In the end, a strong consensus emerged across the entire Committee on the finalists, and there was a clear separation between the finalists and the other candidates. These finalists are distinguished higher education leaders serving in prominent positions and have been carefully vetted with background checks. Each of them has received the highest of recommendations.

The Search Committee presented the finalists to the Claflin Board of Trustees. The Board is now preparing for the final set of presentations, which will occur on campus over the coming month, and will involve meetings with the Board and other representatives of the Claflin community, including representative students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Ultimately the University’s Board will elect one candidate.

I want to publicly express deep appreciation on behalf of the Board to members of the Committee for their leadership in the search process. Their commitment to confidentiality allowed us to secure truly exceptional candidates. It is important that we continue to respect the confidentiality of this process to ensure that Claflin has access to the most talented pool, as well to be fair to our candidates and to the institutions they serve. This approach is driven by recent insights gleaned from the current higher education presidential search environment. With the technological age, candidates are increasingly at-risk for irreparable damage to their otherwise stellar career. Breaches in confidentiality in the search process and premature disclosure of finalist candidates has a chilling effect on highly desirable finalists continuing to the conclusion of the search process. In addition, Claflin does not want to inadvertently disrupt another institution by virtue of any candidate being part of our process. 

We continue to urge all of the university family to pray regularly and earnestly for all those who will be a part of the search process as we seek God’s guidance. The Board is confident that this group of finalists for the President will be able to continue to lead Claflin as we all hope and expect. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Sincerely, 
James K. Lehman, Chairman


March 25, 2019

The Claflin University Presidential Search Committee has been working with our AGB Search consulting team during this spring semester to build a strong and diverse group of candidates. The committee is grateful for the assistance of all of those who made suggestions and nominations.  The committee has remained on schedule with the timeline as posted here on the Presidential Search web site. Following the application deadline of February 1, the committee has been engaged in reviewing the credentials of all applicants and making assessments of the candidates.  The quality of the candidates has made the narrowing of the pool of candidates very challenging.  The committee has worked diligently to make quality judgments in our effort to identify the candidates that we believe are best able to lead Claflin forward to an ever brighter future.  

The committee has now completed its work and sent its report to the Board.  The entire Claflin community was represented on the Search Committee.  I want to publicly express deep appreciation on behalf of the Board to each member of the committee for their highly professional participation in the search process.  Their unwavering commitment to confidentiality allowed us to secure some truly exceptional candidates, and they worked tirelessly to review all of the voluminous materials promptly, thoroughly, and very professionally.  Committee members are listed below and you may wish to personally express your appreciation to them when you next see them.

The Board has determined that the selected finalists will be interviewed on campus in mid-April. The Board of Trustees will invite representatives of constituent groups such as students, faculty, staff, and alumni to participate in the campus interviews that will take place in mid-April. The finalists selected by the Search Committee are distinguished higher education leaders serving in prominent positions so confidentiality continues to be extremely important. Ultimately the University’s Board will identify the one candidate that they will elect. We continue to urge all of the university family to pray regularly and earnestly for all those who will be a part of the search process as we seek God’s guidance. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Calvin Elam, Chair
Claflin University Presidential Search Committee

Members of the Search Committee: Calvin Elam, Committee chair, Board member; James Bennett, Board member; Robin Dease, Board member; Belinda Gergel, Board member; Kayla Hodges, Student Government President; Thelma Hudson, Board of Visitors; Robert Jennings, Public Sector; William Johnson, Board member; James Lehman, Board chair; Gerald Mackey, Alumni; Ashley Schofield, Controller; Albert Shuler, Board member; Dr. Belinda Wheeler, Faculty Chair

 

JANUARY 15, 2019

The Claflin University Presidential Search Committee has been working with our AGB Search consulting team throughout the launch of our presidential search. The advertisements announcing the presidential search and the extensive outreach efforts by the AGB Search team began in mid-December and are yielding a good response. We will be receiving nominations, inquiries and applications until an appointment is made, but February 1 is the deadline to receive full consideration. Anyone wishing to make an inquiry, nomination or application should follow the process outlined in the Search Profile, which is available on Claflin’s web site under “Presidential Search.” The committee has a timeline we are following and the committee has just received an extensive status report from our consulting team – we remain on schedule. Committee members received training on processes related to their duties and responsibilities in assessing candidates. We continue to urge all of the university family to pray regularly and earnestly for the committee members and all those who will be a part of the search process as we seek God’s guidance. Thank you for your support.

Calvin Elam, Chair
Claflin University Presidential Search Committee


December 2018

The Claflin University Board of Trustees established a Presidential Search Committee following the retirement announcement of President Henry Tisdale.  The Search Committee interviewed several companies that offer search assistance to universities and selected AGB Search and their consultants Dr. Paul Corts and Dr. Carlton Brown, and search advisor Artis Hampshire-Cowan. Working with the search consulting team the committee began forming the search process and deciding on a number of details important to the structure of the search.  A timeline was established with the goal to have the committee recommendation to the board of trustees on or before their spring board meeting.  The committee agreed on a commitment to strict confidentiality throughout the entire search process to ensure that candidates will know that they can participate in our search with confidence that only committee members will know their identity.  The committee selected eight constituencies representing the broad university family to provide input through a survey and focus groups as the committee worked on forming a presidential profile for the search.  

We also agreed to provide periodic updates to the university community and general public, acknowledging that those communication updates will provide information about the search process status but will share absolutely no information about candidates.  The committee also agreed to direct all questions, inquiries, nominations, and applications to the search committee’s consultants.  All who are interested in following the progress of the search are invited to check periodically at this web site for the most recent updates.  The committee anticipates posting updates approximately once a month.  Representing a Christian university, committee members have also committed to pray earnestly for God’s leadership and for spiritual discernment throughout the search process.  In that regard, we invite all of the university family to join in and support the committee by remembering to pray for all those involved in this important process to select our next president.

Calvin Elam, Chair
Claflin University Presidential Search Committee 

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