The ESU Foundation, a nonprofit fundraising corporation for the university, kicked off the search for a new president and CEO on Friday at the Sauder Alumni Center with an informational presentation. Afterwards the search committee met for the first time face-to-face.
“We want to be as transparent as possible in this process,” said Russell Everhart, committee president and alumni representative. “I think it’s important that with the candidate we choose, we need to make sure they can follow and lead through the strategic plan with this group of folks and lead the ESU Foundation into the future.”
There is no concrete timetable for the search’s progression, but Gwen Larson, assistant director of marketing and media relations, said they have gotten some applications and the review of them will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.
“It allows (the committee) to take as long as they will need to get the right person,” Larson said.
The committee consists of several board members, alumni, trustees, and community representatives as well as ESU associate professor John Rich, ESU vice-president Jim Meyer and ASG vice-president Jennifer Cheray.
“I am thrilled to bring together a diverse set of individuals who have one, united commitment to our university,” said Lana Oleen, Board Chair Executive Committee and Finance Committee.
Larson said the committee’s leadership statement, which is a booklet that contains information on ESU, the community and the foundation itself, is available on the foundation’s website. It also contains a list of qualifications and traits the committee is looking for in a president as well as a list of duties and responsibilities of the president.
“One of the things that the foundation is working hard on right now is increasing scholarships,” Larson said.
She said that the foundation board is engaged in offering more scholarships at higher amounts of money and that are renewable for a longer time.
“The beauty of scholarships is that they don’t have to be paid back,” Larson said. “They truly are a gift to the students.”
Along with their leadership statement, the committee also gave an outline of their strategic plan, which encompasses their goals and expectations for the foundation this year. The plan states that the main purpose of the foundation is to help and promote the development of ESU and the education and welfare of its students, faculty, staff and alumni.