By Darcee Kubisiak
After 14 groundbreaking years with Donald Jeanes as Milligan College president, he and the rest of the college community will soon know who will take over the top job. By late April, the presidential search committee must finish its work of naming the college’s 15th president.
Jeanes announced his retirement from the presidency last October. His last day in office is July 15.
“All decisions by the committee are based on the leadership criteria and requirements already established by the board of trustees,” said David Hamilton, chair of the board of trustees and the search committee.
Initially, more than a dozen candidates were in the running for the presidential slot, Hamilton said. He would not say how many candidates are still under consideration.
Hamilton asked committee members to keep their deliberations confidential until they make a recommendation to the board of trustees. Until then, they are not allowed to discuss specifics about the search.
“The committee has been very active since it was formed in October preparing for candidate resumes, discussing the selection process, and reviewing submitted resumes,” Hamilton said. “Candidates who are still under consideration are now being engaged in a written interview process.”
When the written process concludes, the committee will invite select candidates in for a formal interview.
The presidential search committee consists of 11 individuals. Six come from the board of trustees, Milligan’s governing board; one each from the administration, the faculty, and the student body; and one from the board of advisors, which represents supporting churches.
During Jeanes’ tenure, Milligan’s enrollment has grown to record numbers, numerous campus improvements have been made, and Milligan has been financially “operating in the black for the past 12 years,” Jeanes said.
Though Jeanes will officially retire from his duties as president, the board of trustees requested that he continue working with Milligan as chancellor. He will focus primarily on external relations and fund raising.
As the end of his tenure approaches, Jeanes said he has mixed feelings about stepping down.
“I believe it is the right decision for me and I hope for Milligan,” said Jeanes. “By retirement date, I will have given 14 years as president. I believe I am leaving Milligan in good shape.”
While Jeanes considers his retirement from presidency a good decision, he will miss the job.
“I will miss my role as president. It will be strange on Monday, July 18, when I get up and I have no presidential responsibilities,” he said. “Milligan is a great place to work and I am still passionate about the value of a Milligan education.”
The goal of the search committee is to make a recommendation to the board of trustees at the April 28-29 board meeting. From that point, the board will finalize the decision and make an official announcement.