Treasurer search progressing
The search for a successor to Kent Chabotar's position of
treasurer at Bowdoin College is proceeding smoothly.
Chabotar decided that five months into the College's new
presidency was a good time for him to leave. Chabotar, hired in former
President Robert Edward's second year, announced in October that he was
stepping down from the position he has held for almost 11 years.
Under the direction of President Barry Mills, the search
committee, which is composed of Mills; mathematics professor Rosemary
Roberts, head of the Budget and Financial Priorities Committee; economics
professor Michael Jones, former head of the committee; student representative
Melanie Keene '03; Dean of Academic Affairs Craig McEwen; support staff
representative Sharon King; Director of Events and Summer Programs Del
Wilson; and College Secretary Dick Mersereau, worked to define the scope
of the treasurer position, including responsibilities and key relationships.
In addition, they came up with a list of traits desirable in an applicant.
The College contracted with high profile professional headhunting
firm Spencer Stuart in order to find applicants for the position and place
advertisements in college trade journals.
Once the job description was completed, Spencer Stuart began
its search for potential applicants. President Mills described this process
as "essentially an exercise in networking on a large scale."
Armed with a description of the College and the position, Spencer Stuart
began to call contacts in the finance world. Some indicated an interest
in the position, while others pointed the group toward other candidates.
Those interested submitted resumes and biographical information, which Spencer Stuart used to narrow down the field. This winter, Spencer Stuart submitted to the College approximately 50 applicant profiles to the College. These profiles consisted mainly of chief financial officers at other schools and non-profit firms. Of those, three have emerged as frontrunners and have been on campus to meet with school officials, though the school's options remain open and another applicant may eventually be hired.
Secretary of the College Dick Mersereau noted that the identity
of these individuals is being closely guarded. He added that open searches
are very rare. "These candidates are very happy in their current
jobs and we've found that a secret search is a better search."
Mersereau indicated that the search is proceeding very well
and that the committee is encouraged by the quality of the pool. Mills
added, "I am pleasantly surprised by the amount of interest in the
position." The quality and reputation of Bowdoin makes the school
a very good place to work, Mersereau noted. The fact that the school is
now on solid financial footing, after running deficits in the years before
Chabotar's arrival, also works to make the position appealing.
President Mills said he hopes to select a new treasurer
by late March, though the selection will have to be approved by a vote
of the board of trustees. He also expressed confidence that Bowdoin's
replacement for Chabotar will be of great quality.
As for Chabotar, he will complete his duties at Bowdoin this June.
However, his commitment to teaching will continue this summer. In June and July, he will teach in four programs sponsored by the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education. Then come mid-summer, he will also work with the Getty Leadership Institute for Museum Management at UC Berkley. In addition, he will also finish writing a book on strategic finance and account management, which he is coauthoring with Vice President for Investment Paula Volant. As for his plans beyond this summer, Chabotar said, "Who knows."