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The Presidential Search Is Underway

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)June 26, 2000

Robert Atwell and Jean Dowdall of A.T. Kearney, a leading, multinational management consulting firm that assists with higher education searches, met with various campus constituencies, including the Faculty Assembly Advisory Board, senior staff and deans, Professional Staff Association and union leadership, and the Presidential Search Committee, Thursday, June 22 to begin the process that will result in the selection of Ramapo’s third president. The Ramapo College Board of Trustees recently announced the appointment of 11 voting members and two ex officio members to the search committee, in accordance with the “Membership Criteria and Charge” it previously developed. In addition, Dorothy Echols Tobe has been appointed affirmative action monitor. Pamela Bischoff, vice president for student affairs, will serve as the non-voting administrative manager for the committee. An open meeting for the campus community with the search firm will be scheduled in the fall.

Among the first tasks of the Presidential Search Committee will be the development of a document outlining the leadership qualities the new president should possess in conjunction with an institutional profile. With the assistance of the search firm the committee will actively solicit nominations and applications from a diverse group of well-qualified persons, draft and place advertisements, meet with campus constituencies and community leaders, screen the applications using the leadership criteria, select and interview semifinalist candidates, assist in checking references, arrange campus visits for finalist candidates, and summarize committee and campus reactions to the finalists, among other duties. The Board of Trustees will make the actual selection of the new president.

Atwell, a senior consultant with A.T. Kearney, was president of the American Council on Education for 12 years, and prior to that, held the position of executive vice president for four years. He served as president of Pitzer College for eight years and vice chancellor for administration at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was recently cited by Change Magazine as one of 21 people at the senior level of influence in American higher education. He has extensive experience in assisting colleges, universities and search firms in executive searches for chief executive officers.

Dowdall, vice president and partner of A.T. Kearney, served in administrative positions at SUNY/Buffalo, West Chester University and Beaver College, and was president of Simmons College. She was a tenured faculty member at SUNY/Buffalo and a full-time faculty member at Indiana University. She is a columnist for the Career Network Website of the Chronicle of Higher Education. She has conducted numerous searches in higher education and in the non-profit sector for senior-level executives.

The search process is expected to culminate in the Board’s naming of a new president next spring, with the appointment effective July 1, 2001.

Presidential Search Committee Members



Academic Dean:




Alumni Association:

Professional Staff Association:

Board of Governors:

Ex Officio:

Thomas W. Dunn, Chair
Robert P. Corman
Emily Kosstrin Mann

Eric Karlin

Mark Howenstein
Demetria Royals
Anita Stellenwerf

Rosa Pena

Carolyn Merkel

Linda Madernini

Jeffrey Shepard

Arthur C. Ramirez, Board Chair Nominee
Edward Saiff, Faculty Assembly President


About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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