THE SEARCH FOR A PRESIDENT The Board of Trustees of Limestone College invites nominations and expressions of interest for the next President. The College seeks a visionary leader who will provide effective leadership for the institution as it moves in to a new era. The current President Walt Griffin is retiring after 26 years of service. The Board, administration, faculty, staff, and students of Limestone seek a person who will lead in a decisive and energetic manner providing direction for the College’s future.
ABOUT LIMESTONE COLLEGE Limestone College, established in 1845, is a four-year, independent, Christian non-denominational, liberal arts college located in Gaffney, South Carolina. Established as one of the first women’s colleges in South Carolina (and nationally), Limestone led the way in providing educational opportunities to all students. The College continued as a trailblazer in the innovative education market in the early 1990’s as one of the first institutions to offer online degrees. Today, at over 3,000 students, Limestone College has one of the largest undergraduate enrollments of any private accredited college in South Carolina (Fall 2015) and provides access to liberal arts and professional degrees for more students in the state than any other private institution. The new President will be welcomed to a close-knit family at Limestone – an ethos that is deeply valued among all Limestone constituents including the forty member Board of Trustees and their commitment to the college in financial support, leadership, and governance oversight. The faculty, staff, and students care genuinely about the College’s rich history and its exciting future. There is a sincere desire for innovative ideas, the strengthening of important processes and plans for the campus, and the continued building of important partnerships which will emphasize effective teaching and the student life experience on campus. LIMESTONE COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE | PAGE 1
ADDITIONAL POINTS OF LIMESTONE PRIDE Academics The Limestone faculty have a passion for pedagogy; they teach, advise, mentor and engage students through student-centered instruction that both challenges and encourages critical and creative thinking. There is strong spirit of collegiality amongst the faculty who create important research partnerships and experiential learning opportunities for students across departments. Of 101 current faculty members, 80.2% hold a terminal degree in their field. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Limestone offers 54 majors and concentrations, with its most popular Day program majors including Business Administration, Biology, Sport Management, and Physical Education & Strength and Conditioning. The most popular Extended Campus and online majors include Business Administration, Social Work, and Computer Science. The College has built a large Fine Arts program with offerings in music, theatre, and art in which more than 90 students participate in musical productions each year. In addition, strong academic programs include: a strong graduate MBA program; an extended campus program that provides access; flexibility, and opportunity to working adults across the state and around the world via online programs; a large criminal justice program; a Nationally Accredited Teacher Education program which boasts 100% passing rate on Praxis exams; National Specialized Accreditation in social work, music, business administration and athletic training. LIMESTONE COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE | PAGE 2
Students Limestone College enrolls students from 34 states and 32 countries with more than 750 students living on the main campus, 450 other full time commuters and over 1,900 students studying by internet or at the Extended campus sites. The College enrolls more than 400 new students each year. 98% of students receive financial aid and 66% of students are Pell eligible. About 60% of the Limestone Honors Program Students are student athletes (Fall 2015). Students at Limestone College participate actively in academic endeavors and achieve major recognition for their academic scholarship: Art exhibits are presented annually by more than 20 students. Academic research projects are presented annually by more than 150 students. The Psychology club competed successfully in the “Quiz Bowl.” Alpha Chi honor society has 100 members each year. Location The quality of life in the region is a point of considerable public pride, as is Limestone College, which has enjoyed a long and positive relationship with the Gaffney community. Of nearly 21,000 living alumni, 1,300 live in and around Cherokee County. The beautiful main campus which houses several buildings on the National Historic Register, is located just south of Gaffney Greenville Charlotte (North Carolina) and east of Spartanburg, South CaroliFlorence Columbia na. Six extended campus locations Aiken are located in Aiken, Columbia, Charleston Charleston, Florence, Gaffney, and Greenville. LIMESTONE COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE | PAGE 3
Athletics Limestone College features one of the premier NCAA Division II athletics programs in the nation. Offering 25 intercollegiate sports and over 800 student-athletes, Limestone has one of the largest athletics departments in all of Division II. The Saints were members of the NAIA from 1972 until joining NCAA Division II in 1991. Twenty of Limestone’s 25 teams currently compete in Conference Carolinas, where the Saints have won three of the past four annual All-Sports Trophies recognizing the highest rated programs in the league. Since intercollegiate athletics began at Limestone in 1972, the Saints have captured six national team championships (5 men’s lacrosse, 1 men’s golf ), and seven national individual titles (3 swimming, 2 wrestling, 1 golf, 1 track & field). In addition to those 13 national championships, Limestone has also produced nearly 200 All-American athletes. The Saints also excel in the classroom, with a number of Academic All-Americans. They annually have a significant number of student-athletes as members of Limestone’s Academic Honors Program.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FACING THE COLLEGE Enhancing the Academic Program Over the past two decades, Limestone College has experienced a re-birth in vitality and service to the Gaffney community and state of South Carolina. The college created extended campuses with adult education for working persons that proved very popular and met a significant need. Limestone College gained early control of this adult market in South Carolina ahead of all other higher education institutions. The college used a block system for scheduling, chose needed curricula, located the offerings convenient to population centers, and were cost effective for this new audience. The college attracted thousands of students which helped generate new revenues and excess income which enabled major enhancements in infrastructure, facilities, and personnel on the main campus. The college developed internet based courses and programs along with advanced technology for communication and instruction. The administration attempted to balance use of the new revenues for enrollment growth on the main campus while sustaining the Extended Campuses in the face of aggressive competition in that market.
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Balancing Athletic Strength The faculty and staff grew rapidly to serve the increased enrollment on the main campus and the administration placed a strong emphasis on intercollegiate athletics as a principal recruitment device. The athletic recruitment strategy involved creating 25 athletic teams, expansion of athletic facilities, and hiring a strong coaching and support staff. The teams compete at the NCAA Division II level which allowed partial athletic scholarships along with normal financial aid. Strong leadership in the athletic department and strong administrative support resulted in the participation of almost 80% of residential students in athletics. The successful program required full time coaches, support staff, trainers, weight conditioning personnel, sports information staff and larger budgets for travel and equipment. Community supporters, some trustees, and faculty believe that more investment in academic programs, faculty enhancement, and modern instructional space will help balance the college’s reputation for excellence overall. Also, additional resident life support and student life programming would further enhance the college’s reputation. Strategic Vision and Institutional Priorities Stemming from recent campus visioning efforts, Limestone’s leadership team identified two key areas of focus – those being: Establish a sustainable financial future for the College. Limestone’s purpose and vision can only be achieved if a healthy and sustainable financial reality exists for the institution. It is critical that the College’s financial system achieve and maintain a position of strength in order to accommodate the delivery of a high-quality student experience through impactful personnel, programs, and facilities. Enhance the academic, social, emotional, and ultimately, professional outcomes of all Limestone students. Specifically, Limestone’s strategic purpose centers on the ultimate success of the individual. Therefore, the College must deliver a comprehensive educational framework (both curricular and co-curricular in nature) that provides students opportunities for different pathways to success, empowers individuals to lead in any environment, and affords graduates with the flexibility to be agile within the professional marketplace.
LIMESTONE AT-A-GLANCE Admissions (Fall 2016) >> Day Program Applications: 3,009 >> Applications Accepted: 1,609 >> Newly Enrolled Students: 459 from 26 states >> Male: 285, Female: 174 Fall 2017 not yet available.
Faculty >> 101 full-time teaching faculty: 52 Males and 49 Females >> 80.2% have Ph.D. or terminal degree >> FTE faculty-to-student ratio: 1:13 Day Program and 1:22 Extended Campus Program Alumni Data >> 20,997 living alumni in 50 states and 40 countries >> Alumni Giving: 4.66% Student Data >> Day Program Enrollment: 1,187 >> Day Program students from out of state: 501 from 44 states >> Extended Campus Enrollment: 1,995 Athletics >> NCAA Division II achievements: 5 teams (men’s lacrosse) and 6 individual National Championships. >> NAIA achievements: 1 team (men’s golf) and 1 individual National Championship. >> Hundreds of All-American student athletes. >> With 25 teams, Limestone has one of the largest Athletics Departments in all of NCAA Division II. Financial Data >> Resident Student Comprehensive Fee: $24,900 tuition, plus room and board (Avg.: $9,582 in room and board). >> Financial Aid: $13.1 million in institutional aid >> Gifts and Grants: $1.9 million >> Education & General Expenditures including student aid: $48.78 million
The Long Range Plan that resulted from the visioning effort was completed with the help of an outside firm. The plan is currently being reviewed and discussed by the faculty, staff and administrative leaders. Additional areas identified for LIMESTONE COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE | PAGE 5
further study were the future of the Extended Campus and internet programs, information technology, and priorities for faculty enhancement and up-grades of classrooms and science labs. For several years, the college has been planning to build a new library. More than $5m has been raised for the project and it is currently being re-evaluated in terms of cost, and design. The new president will play a major role in the future of the project which is considered essential to future accreditation and campus operations. Managing Academic Affairs The college has an excellent reputation for personal attention to students and with every reputation comes challenges. The faculty currently have teaching loads of 15 credits per term and some faculty carry overloads to balance offerings and to enhance salaries that are not as competitive as desired. The facultyâ€™s ability to be involved in advising, counseling, mentoring, and special research with students and other professional development is challenged at a time when parents, students, and rating services are expecting even more student attention. The staff also face challenges with the increased enrollment and demand for prompt and effective student services in the Registrarâ€™s office, financial aid, business office, and counseling. Admissions In order to maintain the strong admissions office success in bringing over 400 new students each year, the college needs to increase support for marketing and staffing needs. Further study would help the college balance use of academic financial aid and athletic awards to attract the strongest students academically
and still maintain the vitality of the athletic program. Leadership needs to act promptly on new academic program initiatives, expansion of student recruitment on the Extended Campuses, and further study of delivery systems for the internet courses and adult offerings which are convenient to working students. Most of the campus leadership agree that Limestone College can compete for students on their main campus and at the Extended Campuses even in the face of strong public college competition and the financial advantages held by other private colleges located in the state. The college enjoys an excellent reputation and clearly has a head start on competition in distance education. With the growth of new business and manufacturing jobs in the region, new energy in reaching out to these entities is desired. Opportunities have been identified in health care education and in working with the school districts on teacher education. Some of the new program ideas under review are undergraduate programs such as Nursing and other graduate level programs. Community Connections Limestone enjoys an excellent reputation for serving and being involved in the community. It is a strength but also a challenge as faculty and staff are expected to live in the area and commit time to civic, political, and charitable work in the community. Leaders at the college have committed many hours to community work and have balanced this expectation with all their other campus duties. Opportunity exists for involvement of more faculty and staff in community relations which would further enhance local loyalty to campus
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events, gain more support for financial contributions, and help attract more local students. Commitment to Limestone Faculty and staff loyalty and their commitment to quality education have been hallmarks of Limestone College. More attention to rewards for faculty and staff will help maintain that loyalty and keep the college competitive. Rebalancing workloads, reallocation of key resources, and raising new revenues from operations and fundraising are considered essential to a bright future. Initially, additional revenues generated from new programs will be needed to fund successful start-up costs, but, after full implementation, additional overhead should be generated which will help enhance existing programs and faculty and staff rewards. The overall fundraising program for the college can be a greater contributor to budget revenues but it will require investment in staff to address the need for a grants writer, estate planner, and additional major gift officers. The college needs to enhance their work with alumni and greater alumni involvement will require investment of resources to bring alumni back to the campus. Alumni participation will help create a culture of giving to match the success that many graduates have praised following their earning of degrees from the college.
Graduation and Retention The graduation and retention rates at the college need to be improved but the work to do so will take years of commitment to increasing financial resources, to stronger reputation for academic achievement, to adding unique new programs of study, and to enhancing personal attention to more student services. More attention to student activities and student needs will bring some improvement in retention, but large gains in retention and graduation rates are possible only with significant increases in resources and reputation. The desire to attract better students in academic performance is realistic, but serving well all those students that are admitted is equally important to the reputation of the college. Research should be continued at the college on retention and graduation rates and campus leadership must commit to steady improvement of these yardsticks of reputation. Limestone College faces challenges that are common to most private small colleges. However, the college has overall strength in enrollment, innovative outreach to non-traditional students, strong recruitment programs for traditional students strengthened by athletic recruiting, sound even if limited financial resources, strong community support and engagement, and a clear mission to serve higher education needs as identified. The rich heritage of community involvement and aggressive educational outreach have bolstered the excellent commitment of faculty and staff to provide a sound foundation for future success.
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DESIRED ATTRIBUTES AND SKILLS FOR LIMESTONE’S NEXT PRESIDENT Committed to building on existing strengths and poised for qualitative growth, Limestone seeks a new President who will provide visionary, strategic, and creative leadership. Strong candidates will require a substantial track record of academic, managerial, and fundraising achievements, an ability to plan with input from all College stakeholders, and the courage to make informed decisions, coupled with the ability to articulate the need for those decisions and build consensus around them. Personal characteristics of warmth and authenticity are crucial. The successful Limestone College President will also have: an unblemished record of integrity, sound judgment, moral character and personal reputation; the ability to build the confidence of the administrative team, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and the greater Gaffney community through sustained, transparent, and visionary leadership that will inspire and engage; a strong commitment to Judeo-Christian principles; accomplishment as a strategic thinker and proactive planner, particularly as it applies to the implementation of Limestone’s new strategic plan; experience implementing and sustaining the critical processes of shared governance and consistently and appropriately applying its tenets; familiarity with issues prominent in higher education including the practical application of the liberal arts, relationship between curriculum and co-curriculum, and effective governance policies; accomplishment as an experienced fundraiser and an enthusiasm for engaging all Limestone constituents in these important endeavors; experience as a solutions-oriented system builder, who possesses both practical administrative experience across academic affairs and the financial acumen necessary to engage in budget analysis and allocation and advocate for creative solutions in an environment of limited resources; an ability to listen carefully and communicate clearly with all of Limestone’s constituencies; possession of a genuine sense of humility, personal spirituality, and know how to build trust and generate consensus; a commitment to enriching the campus community with global perspectives and a commitment to diversity in all its forms. LIMESTONE COLLEGE PRESIDENTIAL PROFILE | PAGE 8
APPLICATION PROCESS The Presidential Search Committee will begin reviewing candidate materials in late September and will continue through late October. Although applications will be received until the position is filled, materials should be submitted by Sunday, October 15, to receive the most favorable consideration. Final selection will be made by early December and the new President will be invited to begin work on or about January 1, 2018. All material will be received in full confidence and should be submitted electronically to: Mr. David Riggins, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee LimestonePres@agbsearch.com Applications must include: a letter of candidacy responding to Limestone’s list of desired attributes identifying their experiences in the context of the opportunities for the new President; a complete CV or resume; the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of three references, none of whom will be contacted without permission of the candidate. Inquiries and nominations should be directed to: James Davis, PhD Consultant AGB Search email@example.com 540.539.9415
Melinda Leonardo, PhD Consultant AGB Search firstname.lastname@example.org 919.280.4901
Information on the search is also available at www.Limestone.edu or www.agbsearch.com. Limestone College is an equal opportunity employer which is committed to student, faculty, and staff diversity and values the educational benefit this brings to campus.
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1115 College Drive | Gaffney, South Carolina 29340 | www.Limestone.edu
Published on Aug 16, 2017
The Board of Trustees announces the search for the 21st president of Limestone College, and invites applications for the position. Limestone...