Leading Presidential Candidate Announced

On Friday, Feb. 14, the Presidential Search Committee announced the visit of the leading candidate in the college’s search for the new president, Rebecca M. Bergman, to the campus.

Bergman currently serves as Vice President of Research, Technology and Therapy Delivery Systems for the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business at Medtronic. Bergman is also a member of Gustavus Board of Trustees and visited the campus as a presidential candidate for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Senior Becca Eastwood, one of two student representatives selected to be on the committee, stressed the significance of this visit.

“The purpose of the campus visit, in my mind, is to introduce the candidate to the campus, kind of open up what the search committee has been working on. And it is important because we are representatives from all of these different perspectives, but we are not the wider campus and we want as many people involved in this process as possible, so that everyone is invested in it and so that the majority of people are confident and happy with the outcome of the search,” Eastwood said.

Warren Beck, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, and member of the Board of Trustees highlighted the excitement felt on campus during this important time.

“The Search Committee has greatly appreciated the participation and support shown by the Gustavus community throughout the search to this point.  We look forward to greeting Ms. Bergman on campus and sharing the Committee’s excitement about her candidacy,” Beck said.

Beck also highlighted the importance of the Opportunity Profile that was posted with regards to the search process.

“We evaluated candidates based very closely on the criteria that was posted in order to select the candidate that was most qualified,” Beck said.

Selecting the top candidate has been an extensive process that has involved reviewing over 100 nominations and 50 applications.

“One of the things I have learned from being on the committee is just how many things a president needs to know how to do and needs to be good at,” Eastwood said.

The Presidential Search Committee is made up of trustees, staff, faculty, administrators, and students.

Associate Professor of Biology and Chemistry and faculty member of the search committee Brenda Kelly, is looking forward to the opportunity that the entire campus will now have to become involved in the process. Until this point, the information regarding the search has been mostly confidential with the exception of the search committee themselves.

“The members of the search committee have been involved and have been knowledgeable of every step of the process. So from a search committee perspective, it’s been completely open. From a campus perspective, it’s been less open. There have just been updates that have come to the campus community at appropriate times from the search chair. From my perspective, I don’t think that’s atypical and the reason that it often has to be done is because frequently candidates have other positions and so their name can’t be publicized because then it would jeopardize their other position or their current position,” Kelly said.

Eastwood encourages students to take an active part in the search.

“If you did go to one of the visits, then please take the time to write about what you thought and then submit it to the committee so that we can look at that and we can have a sense of what the campus feels. We can’t be the only ones putting our input into this process,” Eastwood said.

Feedback forms will be accepted until Monday, Feb. 24. The timeline that follows that selection and consideration of the leading candidate is not available for disclosure at this time, but students will be notified when a final selection is made.