President Howard's Contract Extended

April 01, 2014

Board of Trustees Approves One-Year Contract Extension for President

President HowardOne of the primary responsibilities of the Board of Trustees of the College is to appoint and evaluate the president. Through a resolution adopted on March 31, the Board has elected to offer President Christopher Howard a one-year contract for 2014-15.  The resolution notes that as part of its annual duty to elect officers of the Board, President Howard, a Board member, was elected President of the College on February 8 of this year.  The election was a procedural matter required by the by-laws.  It acknowledged the sitting President but did not require the Board to offer the President a new contract for 2014-15.  

The resolution reads as follows:

Whereas, on February 8, 2014, the Board of Trustees of Hampden-Sydney College re-elected Christopher Howard as president of the College through June 30, 2015;

Whereas, the contract between the College and President Howard expires on June 30, 2014;

Whereas, on March 4, 2014, the Board passed a resolution authorizing its officers to conduct a performance review in consultation with third-party expertise, to evaluate alternatives consistent with best practices in higher education and the mutual interest of the parties, and to present their findings and recommendations to the Board for consideration and vote no later than April 30, 2014;

Whereas, pursuant to the March 4, 2014 resolution, the officers engaged the consulting services of Dr. Richard Morrill, former president of the University of Richmond, to assist with this year's annual president's performance review;

Whereas, Dr. Morrill has recommended that there be an agreement to extend the contract for one year before undertaking the performance review;

Therefore, the Board of Trustees authorizes and directs its officers (i) to inform Dr. Howard that The Board of Trustees of the College has authorized its officers to negotiate a one year contract extension with the goals and expectations for that year to be determined upon the Board's consideration of the performance review; and (ii) to present the findings and recommendations of the performance review to the Board no later than June 10, 2014.

The one-year contract for the President is similar to those that have been offered to prior Hampden-Sydney presidents after their own initial terms of service.

In defining the specific terms of the agreement for 2014-2015, the Board will develop a set of goals, expectations and recommendations for the President and for the strengthening of the College. In order to develop an effective process for gaining additional sources of information and evaluation, the Board has contacted the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities (AGB), a widely recognized national membership organization which includes most public and private colleges and universities in the country. AGB sponsors a comprehensive process of presidential review through which confidential interviews are held by an experienced former college president with individuals and small groups that represent a cross section of the campus community, including board members, faculty, staff, students, and alumni. AGB has recommended and we have engaged Dr. Richard Morrill, former President and Distinguished University Professor of Ethics and Democratic Values of the University of Richmond. Dr. Morrill will conduct the interviews and prepare reports and recommendations for the board and the president based on the feedback provided by the participants. Dr. Morrill will be on campus for about 10 days in April and early May to conduct the interviews. We are pleased that he is available to assist the College and we look forward to welcoming him to the campus.

In commenting on the resolution, Board Chairman Tom Allen said, "I'm delighted with the Board's decision and I look forward to working with Chris Howard moving forward."