Did La Salle and Dickinson flub their presidential searches?
I had addressed the La Salle situation earlier, in which their president of two months claimed not to have known about the seriousness of the La Salle financial difficulties.
Now Dickinson’s president resigns, after just three years on the job, and on the cusp of a major capital campaign. Obviously, there has been a failure to communicate in these two instances.
In my experience, college presidential search committees consist of the search firm representatives (who mostly want to make a placement), some random faculty and staff members, a few Board members, and a couple of alumni. It would be easy to staff the committee with individuals who are not aggressive in the questioning and probing that is so important in understanding the true ability and suitability of each of the candidates. College Boards need to select their search committee members very carefully.
At any rate, you can read my full take on both searches here on the pages of National Review‘s higher education blog site Phi Beta Cons.