Several Northeast Tennessee business, government and civic life leaders with ties to Tusculum College are among the members of a committee established to lead the historic college’s search for a new permanent president.
Membership of the committee was announced by Dr. Kenneth Bowman, chairman of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees, on July 31, one day before the college’s new interim president, Dr. Russell Nichols of Indiana, began his work at Tennessee’s oldest college. Dr. Nichols directly succeeds two acting presidents, Dr. Angelo Volpe and Dr. Edward Kormondy, who served as acting presidents this summer while the search for a longer-term interim went on. Tusculum’s previous president was Dr. Dolphus E. Henry, who resigned this summer after seven years at the college.
Among the regional leaders serving on the Presidential Search Committee are Northeast Tennessee business figure and philanthropist Scott M. Niswonger, a 1987 graduate of Tusculum College who also holds an honorary doctorate from Tusculum; Miles Burdine, president/CEO of the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Don Henard, a noted Greeneville physician and community leader; John Foster, mayor of the City of Tusculum; and Don Raber, founder and president of Aldebaran Financial in Kingsport. All but Foster are members of the Tusculum College Board of Trustees.
Dr. Bowman, a 1970 Tusculum College graduate who lives in Pennsylvania, will chair the search committee.
Also on the committee are students Duane Randolph and Landree Brotherton, Student Government Association president and vice president, respectively. Faculty Moderator Dr. Robert Davis, a professor of biology, and Assistant Professor of Management Cheri Jones are faculty representatives on the committee, while George Collins, director of the Tusculum College Department of Museum Program and Studies, represents the TC staff. On the search committee as representative of the President’s Cabinet are Tusculum College Vice President and CFO Steve Gehret and Provost and Vice President Dr. Kimberly Estep.
Serving as advisors to the committee are Drs. Ed Kormondy, Angelo Volpe, and Nichols, the interim president. Kormondy and Volpe are trustees and former acting presidents of Tusculum College, and have been presidents and/or chancellors of major universities.
Representing the alumni of Tusculum College is Judith Domer ’61, president of the Tusculum College Alumni Executive Board.
In announcing the formation of the committee, Dr. Bowman said: “The structure and membership of this Committee are parallel in many ways to our recent Interim President Selection Committee. Both have been built with strong leaders from the several groups of our larger Tusculum College community. The goals are to include the several perspectives from across our College and to hire our next president. With this shared ownership in the process, the entire Tusculum College community will be invested in the success of our next president.”
The committee is accountable to the Board of Trustees and will make reports at all regularly scheduled trustee meetings and further reports as deemed appropriate by the board chairman. The committee’s charge is to recommend to the board a candidate to serve as the next president of Tusculum College, and a supporting rationale. While this process is expected to take several months, the goal is to have a new president in place by the start of the 2008-2009 academic year.
The committee is expected to find and contract with an academic search firm, determine desirable attributes for the new president, and begin advertising the position no later than September.