Presidential Search Committee Formed for Catawba’s Future
July 30, 2019
Catawba College has completed the formation of its Presidential Search Committee. Board of Trustees Chairman Bill Graham '83 has selected Bob Arnold '71 a consultant and retired furniture industry executive from Hickory, NC to serve as chairman of the committee. Mark Alexander '81 an Attorney from Jacksonville, Florida and Partner with the law firm of Alexander, DeGance and Barnett will serve as the vice chairman. The committee is comprised of 6 faculty members and 11 alumni, as well as 4 cabinet/staff members.
It was announced earlier in July that the current president, Brien Lewis, would not be seeking to renew his contract for the 2020-21 academic year. "We have enjoyed our time here tremendously and feel that the College has made a lot of progress," said Lewis. "I am deeply proud of what we have accomplished as a college community. At the same time, our children are now both in college so we would not be uprooting them, also making it a good time to consider a move. We have done much of what the Board asked us to do when we came, so overall it seemed like a good time to explore other opportunities."
The search committee is focused on finding the right replacement for this role to ensure that Catawba will continue to provide a transformative education for its students. As higher education continues to change, Catawba will need a progressive leader who is willing to make decisions and take the necessary steps to keep the college competitive.
"We're not just trying to fill a job vacancy," said Bill Graham, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "We want the right person for the future of Catawba. The next leader of Catawba must embrace, promote and foster the school's need to "grow with distinction" and must integrate well with the culture of Catawba but also be a good fit for the Salisbury-Rowan community.
The committee will meet soon to decide if they will handle the selection process for the current president's successor in-house or if they will hire a search consultant firm. They will proceed with the process at their discretion and pace, and there is no urgent date of selection. "We want them to take their time and be as thorough and comprehensive as possible," said Graham.
Faculty Committee Members:
Constance Rogers-Lowery, Ph.D., Provost and Professor of Biology; Maria Vandergriff-Avery, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology and Director of the College Honors Program and Vice Chair of the Faculty Senate, Forrest Anderson, Ph.D. - Associate Provost; Associate Professor of English, Luke Dollar, Ph.D. - Professor of Environment and Sustainability; Department Chair, Earl Givens, M.L.S. - Director of Library Services, Jim Hand, Ed.D. - Dean of the School of Health Sciences & Human Performance, and Buster Smith, Ph.D. - Associate Professor of Sociology; Department Chair; Faculty Senate Chair
Board of Trustees/Alumni Committee Members:
Mark Alexander '81, Bob Arnold '71, Dan Bross '71, Randy Crumpler '75, Tom Dennard '77, Barry Leonard '65 (emeritus), Barbara Marshall '72, Deborah Messinger '74, Dick Seiwell '67, Lee Syria, and Sally Whitney '77
Cabinet/Staff Committee Members:
Drew Davis, General Counsel and Director of Human Resources; Meg Kluttz Dees, Vice President of Development; Nelson Murphy, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer; and Jared Tice, Senior Vice President for the College Experience and Dean of Students