Leadership Changes To Come at CMC

Claremont McKenna College (CMC) will see several significant leadership changes in the coming year. At the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, CMC President Pamela Gann announced that she would be stepping down at the end of the spring semester. On Jan. 26, Gann announced that Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Gregory Hess has accepted the Presidency of Wabash College, which he will assume next year.

Despite the change in leadership, neither Gann nor Hess believes that there will be any major structural changes in the way that CMC runs.

“You never know [if there will be changes], but I seriously tend to doubt it,” Hess wrote in an e-mail to TSL. “The College’s mission gives it distinction and clarity as an institution, and it’s the primary reason for its success.”

Gann wrote in an e-mail to TSL that she expects continuity.

“The students will be as prepared as ever for their academic challenges and for a full life at CMC,” Gann wrote.

Both Hess and Gann believe that President-elect Hiram Chodosh, currently a Dean at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, will continue to pursue CMC’s institutional goals.

“The College has to continue to articulate itself as a global, mission-driven premier liberal arts institution that prepares students to live thoughtful, productive, responsible, and ethical lives,” Hess wrote. “This narrative is in superb hands with President-elect Chodosh.”

Although Chodosh has been chosen to follow Gann, there is currently no replacement for Hess. The Board of Trustees declined to comment on the selection process that is being developed to select a candidate for Hess’s replacement. According to an e-mail sent to TSL by Max Benavidez, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communication, the Board is not yet involved in the selection process, but they will release a public statement regarding this process in the near future.

“The College’s mission has been the same since its founding: to educate its students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions,” Gann wrote. “I think the College stayed true to its mission in the appointment of the new president, and I’m sure we’ll stay true to our mission in the appointment of a new Dean of the Faculty.”

Gann wrote that the appointment process begins with the selection of a search committee, which is composed of five to six faculty members, a Trustee, and a student.

“In general, the search committee and the President look for someone with a strong academic background and a track record of administrative and academic management experience,” Gann wrote.

Hess added that he will not be involved in the selection process when it begins. 

“I think it is important for any position that the incumbent not have a hand in their replacement. The institution is stronger if they make replacement decisions independent of the current occupant of the position,” Hess wrote. “Of course, I will be of help to President Gann and President-elect Chodosh in the transition in any way that I am asked.”