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Presidential Search Update

Dear members of the Emerson community,

As you know, the Presidential Search Committee has been working diligently to identify the next president to lead Emerson College. Although we have interviewed several excellent candidates in recent months, after much deliberation, the committee has determined that it is in the best interest of the College to pause the current search and relaunch it at a later date.

Emerson is well-known as the premier global institution devoted to the arts, communication, and the liberal arts, and has enjoyed more than a quarter of a century of remarkable growth and transformation. Since the beginning of the search, we have stated that our goal is to find a president with the distinct skill set required to lead this extraordinary College through today’s complex challenges to continued long-term success.

The search committee — comprised of students, faculty, trustees, staff, and administrators — and the Board agree that a pause in the search will give the College the opportunity to focus on immediate needs, while strengthening the foundation for Emerson’s next president.

Dr. William Gilligan, who has proven very effective in the role of interim president, has generously agreed to extend his tenure through June 2023. Dr. Gilligan, Professor Emeritus and long-time vice president, will continue to provide Emerson with the leadership, stability, and continuity he has already demonstrated. He will work with the Board of Trustees on an agenda for the next 18 months, including leading our accreditation process, identifying our next vice president for Equity and Social Justice, and setting the priorities for the College, to ensure the forward momentum of the institution.

I would like to thank the members of the search committee for their hard work and commitment to the spirit of shared governance, and the full Emerson community for your continuing dedication and service to Emerson College. We remain committed to finding the right president for Emerson and we will continue to provide significant updates in the weeks and months ahead.


Eric Alexander
Chair Presidential Search Committee Chair and
Chair, Board of Trustees

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