The mystery of the new president


Graphic by Taylor Hereid

by Alyssa Craven, Feature Editor

The search for a new president at Simpson College has been shrouded in mystery.

Former President Jay Simmons announced his plans to resign his position on August 8, 2019.

“As you know, I have loved my time here, which makes this decision bittersweet,” Simmons said in an email. “However, I believe now is the right time for a new president to bring the campus community together and advance the mission of Simpson College.”

In order to find the next president, Simpson put together a Presidental Seach Committee composed of faculty, staff and students. 

Faculty representatives are Don Evans, Jennifer Nostrala, Katie Smith, Ross Sweet, Judy Walden, John Walker and Patti Woodward-Young.

Staff representatives are Mara Bailey, Luke Behaunek, Christie Denniston, Andy English, Amy Gieseke, Bob Nutgrass and Bobbi Sullivan.

Student representatives are Karrecia Crawley, Mackenzie Laughlin, M Leonard, Elliott Meyer, Beth Stolte and Micah Zimmerman.

Unlike in previous years, the process for this search has remained private. Everyone on the Presidential Search Committee has had to sign a non-disclosure form. 

“Each has signed a Confidentiality Agreement as they assume this important role,” said Brenda Wickett in an email. “I would ask that you allow them to be engaged on your behalf and avoid unnecessary query regarding their participation.”

Interviews with candidates are not open to the public as they have been in previous years.

Something also new this year was that it was no longer required for candidates applying for the president position to have a Ph.D.

All applications were due by Jan. 20.

“Following a month-long review of over 100 resumes from interested candidates both inside and outside of higher ed,” said Wickett in an email. “The Presidential Search Committee has identified a shortlist of exceptional leaders. During the month of February, the committee will conduct an initial round of individual interviews and select those finalists to be invited to campus in early March.”

Currently, the search has been narrowed down to three final candidates. These candidates will be meeting with the Presidential Search Committee for individual meetings in private.

“The finalists will be on campus soon,” said Wickett in an email. “During their individual visits, each finalist will meet with some campus representatives from Faculty, Cabinet, Staff and the Student Advisory Group.”

Simpson College is still waiting to hear who the next president of the college will be.