April 8, 2010 was a special day for Granite State College, as Dr. Todd Leach was elected to be our next president. This is an exciting time for all members of the GSC Community, as we find ourselves on the horizon of a new era, and the changes that will come with it. As I sat in the Manchester NH College, patiently awaiting the announcement with other audience members for the big news, I found myself consistently repeating this thought: "I can not wait to see what changes take place immediately, as well as the changes that will take place over time." Dr. Leach's first two years on the job will be my last two years with the college, so I look forward to participating in the improvements that he will implement.
For some audience members, this was their first exposure to the process of selecting a new president (the announcement being the end of the process). I was one of the lucky few in the room to actively participate in the process from end to end. In October, I was asked to be the student representative to the Presidential Search Committee. My first thought was that this was an amazing honor to be asked and to serve, but reality settled in very quickly. Our first meeting in Concord in November was an introduction to the rest of the search committee. Ed MacKay, Chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire, welcomed and introduced us to Trustee George Epstein, who would chair the committee. With the advice from our consultants, we mapped out a process that called for us to immediately begin to request applicants to express interest in the position, to interview in January and February, and finally to recommend three candidates to the Chancellor in March.
Each member was granted access to the email in box that resumes and cover letters were submitted to, and we were expected to return to our next meeting in December with a go/no go for each applicant. After logging into the account, my initial impression was that we had an extremely talented pool of approximately 70 potential candidates to choose from. Our first meeting in December carried the daunting task of whittling the list down to a manageable number of candidates. In January, we discussed the nearly 25 applicants who expressed interest after our December meeting, and interviewed two candidates. Through the month of February, we met three more times in Concord to interview candidates. After those sessions, we forwarded the names of three candidates that we as a committee felt that could be the next president of Granite State College.
Today's announcement was the culmination of a lot of hard work and tough decisions. The inherent stress that comes with the process of making these decisions increased as we came closer to a decision, yet some very nice relationships were forged among the committee members through the hours of deliberating. It was an honor to be part of this committee, and I send my most sincere congratulations to President Todd Leach of Granite State College.