Goddard’s Search for President
Goddard College’s next President will carry forward the development of a new strategic vision, building on Goddard’s strong foundation of progressive education and advancing our deep collective commitment to social and environmental justice. Goddard’s Board of Trustees and a broadly representative search committee are of one mind on the importance of selecting a President who will bring imaginative energy, proven leadership ability, and progressive values to the challenge, who will work in concert with the Board and the college community to refine this vision and bring it to fruition.
About the College
Goddard College was founded in 1938 in response to the rise of fascism in Europe, in the belief that interactive, self-directed education can help build civil, democratic societies. Today, Goddard’s diverse learning community aligns with a deep collective desire for and insistence on social and environmental justice. The ability to reposition Goddard so that the philosophy can be matched by the realities of the 21st Century mindful that the ancestry and skeleton of Goddard are excellent and iconic. Transitioning to a bigger, better future will be both a challenge and an opportunity.
An experimenting college, Goddard was one of the first colleges to include adult learning in its charter and is a recognized pioneer of the low-residency model for higher education. The fundamental principles of progressive education, such as experiential learning, individualized study, education for social responsibility, and lifelong learning, continue to guide Goddard’s relationship with every student.
Today Goddard offers low residency graduate and undergraduate programs. While each student’s core degree work is done independently under the mentorship of their faculty advisor, all students and faculty in each program meet in the community for one eight-day residency each semester at one of Goddard’s three campus locations: Plainfield, VT; Port Townsend, WA; or Seattle, WA. In 2020 we enrolled approximately 368 students, who were served by a full-and part-time faculty of 70, an administrative staff of 51, with a $7 million annual operating budget. www.goddard.edu
Goddard’s student-driven learning model reflects its values and commitment to social justice, human rights, agency and protection for all people, and to thoughtful action to save our earth. We believe that the strength and richness of the Goddard educational experience arise, in large part, out of this shared aspiration. Our students come to Goddard, from across the U.S. and around the globe, with the specific intention of transforming themselves, their communities, and their world.
An honest dialogue about the circumstances that will shape the mission of the next President will be at the center of this process. Three years ago, Goddard faced the possibility of regulatory sanctions and serious concerns about the ability of the college to remain financially viable, specifically reflecting concerns about the governance structures of the Board and the college.
The Goddard Board of Trustees, the President, and the entire Goddard community expressed a commitment to assuring the survival of this college. The Board of Trustees adopted best practice standards, adding additional members to ensure that an ample pool of thought partners existed with expertise in academics, executive leadership, finance, and development. Strategic oversight, effective governance, fiduciary vigilance, and an effective partnership and support for a strong president are now embedded in the board’s work and culture. Under President Bull’s leadership, the administration has been reinforced, with key personnel added and a team approach to problem-solving and strong performance. Increasingly effective marketing and recruitment processes have been developed and continued enrollment is projected. There are growing reserves, and the college operates with a balanced budget. In September 2020 Goddard successfully underwent a comprehensive accreditation review process and was subsequently granted a ten-year NECHE Accreditation.
The college has continuing opportunities to identify and meet challenges related to strengthening our governance systems and processes, responding to, aligning with, and competing with the demands of today’s emerging education landscapes. Our students and alumni are our measures of success. They consistently celebrate their experiences and learning in our numerous academic programs. This is due in part to the strength of our pedagogy and the quality of our faculty. This reality, coupled with our governance and administration, is the foundation for our growth and future.
The next President will have the opportunity to build on this foundation. Shaping Goddard’s strategic direction, uniting our community, meeting the challenges and opportunities of building strong outward and inward-facing advocacy and fundraising with multiple stakeholders – funders, alumni, strategic partners, policymakers, regulators, and the media – will be central to this role.
A demonstrated and genuine commitment to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion coupled with progressive values, effective management, and leadership skills and experience, fundraising acumen, and a value proposition that fits with our culture will be fundamental to the President’s mission.
Role and Responsibility
We seek a President who is committed to our Mission: “Advancing cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world.” Demonstrated experience and skills in social justice, a collaborative leadership style and democratic values, effective and inclusive leadership and organizational management skills, and experience in strategic and fiscal planning and growth are key requirements.
We are in a strong position to build on the progress of the past three years, and our history of resilience. Continued, steady management and process improvement, transparency and open dialogue, and visible leadership on behalf of Goddard are the most immediate tasks for the new President and their team.
We are committed to creating a college inclusive of diversity at all levels in the organization, reflecting a diverse global community and capable of creating positive change. We encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.
Goddard College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, marital/civil union status, age, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran/uniformed service status, disability, or other legally protected classification in any of its policies or procedures.
Please submit a curriculum vitae/resume and cover letter to, or direct inquiries, to:
Ted Ford Webb