Presidential Search Timeline

Hiram College President Thomas V. Chema announced at the May 2013 meeting of the Hiram College Board of Trustees, that he will step down at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year. He has served in the position for 11 years.

The Hiram College Board of Trustees appointed a committee made up of faculty, staff and trustees to identify several candidates, bring them to the campus for review, and ultimately recommend one of them to the board for selection as Hiram's next president. Bob Turner ‘72, senior vice president of Union Pacific Corporation and Hiram College trustee, was appointed chair of the presidential search committee.

Turner provided the following updates from the search committee throughout the presidential search process:

Jan. 2, 2014

Earlier this year, the Presidential Search Committee was asked by the College’s Board of Trustees to conduct a search and then recommend a candidate or slate of candidates who the committee believes is qualified to become the next president of Hiram College.  After reviewing nearly 100 applications, conducting over a dozen interviews, and bringing three candidates to campus for very successful visits, I am pleased to report that the committee has completed this phase of the search process.

At this point, it becomes the responsibility of the Board of Trustees to review the candidates in detail, determine their choice of the best candidate, and offer that person the position.  While there is no specific timeline for this process, it is my hope that we can complete this work quickly and be able to announce the name shortly thereafter.

As chair of the committee, I want to publically thank the entire Hiram community for their participation with the on-campus visits.  I know that the timing was short and that it came during a busy time on campus, but each of the candidates was impressed with the enthusiasm and the seriousness shown by the faculty, staff and entire community.  Thank you.

I’m looking forward to completing the search and sharing the name of the next President of Hiram College with all of you.

Nov. 22, 2013

The Hiram Presidential Search Committee has narrowed the pool of candidates to a “short list,” and the background and reference checks of those on the list are underway. We should have this work completed in a week or so.

During the next few days we will be working to schedule a visit to the campus by each of these candidates.  To facilitate the scheduling of these visits, we are holding five dates:  December 2, 4, 9, 11, and 16.  As part of each visit, there will be an open forum where members of the community will be able to hear from the candidates, ask questions, and learn more about them.  These will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Kennedy Center.

At this point, we don’t know how many of these dates we will use, but we want to give you all of the possibilities recognizing how busy the three-week session is for most of you. As a firm date is set for a candidate, we will post information on that candidate on the Hiram presidential website for your review prior to the visit. We are also developing an online feedback mechanism to collect reactions, thoughts, and comments on the candidates.

It is important to mention that at this point the committee has not “ranked” these candidates, and the order in which they will appear on campus will be determined by schedules alone. We are very excited about the entire group and look forward to introducing them to the Hiram College community for further evaluation.

Oct. 31, 2013

The Presidential Search Committee has been working diligently during the past few weeks to identify the best candidates for the position of Hiram College President.  While our need for confidentiality keeps me from sharing the details of our progress, I can provide some additional information on the status of the search.

 As we narrow the number of applicants to the group that we plan to invite to campus, the committee has begun to meet personally with those whose applications most closely spoke to the leadership characteristics we feel are essential for the position. It is an interesting process to meet with people after reviewing the information they submit in writing—some match perfectly, others seem very different from their application.

The conversations with these impressive candidates have been interesting and educational. As you would expect, the discussion and debate among the committee members about the individual candidates has been energetic and thorough.  The members of the committee are taking this assignment very seriously, and their interest in finding the right person has been evident from the beginning.

 Before any candidate is invited to the campus to meet with the Hiram College community, more review and deliberation will take place. The committee remains focused on balancing the need for a comprehensive review of the leading candidates with our desire to keep the process moving ahead.

Oct. 18, 2013

It has been several months since the Presidential Search Committee began its work to find the next president of Hiram College. I would like to give you a brief report on the search and our progress. I know there is great interest in the details of the search, but the process requires a great deal of confidentiality as many of the candidates have requested that their interest be kept in the strictest confidence-a request that the committee takes very seriously.

At the outset, we worked hard to identify the characteristics that we believe will be important for the next president of the school to exhibit. With the assistance of our search consultant, Korn Ferry, we used those desired characteristics to frame the position description that is being used to find and interest potential candidates for the position. 

I am happy to report that there has been a great deal of interest from an exceptional group of individuals interested in the position. Not only do we have a robust “pool” of candidates already, but we receive more expressions of interest almost daily. This group is diverse and reflects a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.  Many have shown real excitement and enthusiasm for Hiram College and eagerly want to play a leadership role in our future.

The Search Committee is now in the process of narrowing the group down to a set of people with whom that we will meet to further refine the search.  Our hope is that this will identify several finalists that will come to campus for a visit and importantly, to meet with a larger group of people on campus prior to recommending a finalist to the Board of Trustees.

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