Westfield State University — President

Westfield State University seeks nominations of and applications from exceptional leaders who would like to join this community as its next president. 

Westfield State is an institution that values a strong community, collaboration, and camaraderie. The spirit of these values can be seen in the faculty and staff who consistently go the extra mile to ensure the University’s success and the growth and success of its students. One of nine state universities operating under the direction of the Board of Higher Education and its executive agency and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Westfield State University is governed by an 11-member Board of Trustees. Westfield State University is committed to providing students of every generation with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first co-educational, teacher-training college in America, founded by Horace Mann in 1839, to offer an education without barrier to race, gender, or economic status. The University continues Horace Mann’s guiding principles that education is the great equalizer and the social engine of democracy. Westfield State is dedicated to and continues to live its tradition of providing educational, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people including minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and other protected persons, and individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds. The institution seeks a new leader to build on this legacy and galvanize the community around its longstanding mission and purpose, and its aspiration to be a national model for outstanding, accessible public higher education. 

Located in western Massachusetts approximately 90 miles from Boston, two and a half hours to New York City, and 30 minutes from the Hartford, Northampton, Amherst, and Springfield Metro area, Westfield State’s beautiful 256-acre suburban campus is home to 3,778 full-time undergraduates, 854 part-time undergraduates, and 766 graduate students across four colleges: the College of Education, Health, and Human Services; the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; the College of Mathematics and Sciences; and the College of Graduate and Continuing Education. The University is ranked 26th among the top public universities in the Regional Universities–North category by U.S. News & World Report, leading the Massachusetts state university system in the annual overall rankings for that category. The University has steadily climbed in the annual Money magazine’s “Best Colleges 2020” list, notably jumping 33 spots from 187 to 154.

The University seeks a president who will bring the Westfield State community together around its strategic priorities, goals, and identity to address current challenges and capitalize on opportunities, and who will join with faculty, staff, and students to promote student engagement and success. A resilient and forward-thinking medium-sized residential university, Westfield State seeks a president who can tap into the University’s collective energy, talent, and ideas to develop and implement long-term strategies for success. Given the economic, public health, and social change forces bearing down on public higher education, Westfield State seeks a president who will work with the campus community to adapt strategic priorities to the new realities, support innovative approaches to solving problems, build relationships and partnerships to advance the institution, ensure financial sustainability, ensure the execution of successful enrollment strategies, invest in faculty and student success, and further diversity, equity, and inclusion broadly across the community and the region.

Interested candidates should review the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Guidelines and Procedures for the Search, Selection, Appointment and Removal of State University and Community College Presidents. The Presidential Search Committee will preliminarily screen all applicants and recommend three to five finalists for further vetting by the Westfield State University Board of Trustees and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Finalists will be asked to participate in open campus meetings in March/April 2021. Final appointment is subject to background check and approval by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. The president is expected to begin on July 1, 2021.

All applications, nominations and inquiries are invited. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in the profile at wittkieffer.com. For fullest consideration, candidate materials should be received by Friday, February 12, 2021.

WittKieffer is assisting Westfield State University in this search. Application materials can be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal. Confidential nominations and inquiries can be directed to the University’s consultants, Lucy Leske, Robert Luke and Christine Pendleton at WSU-President@wittkieffer.com. 

Westfield State University provides equal access to employment opportunities for all applicants, regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, age, disability or veteran status in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and policies.

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