Press Releases | Presidential Search

ACTA Delivers New Guidance for Assuring a Successful College President Search

July 26, 2023

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has released a new guide by Robert C. Dickeson, entitled Assuring a Successful College President Search: An ACTA Guide to Presidential Search, Screening, and Selection.

One of the most important duties of college governing boards is to select the university president. According to a study by the American Council on Education, the average tenure of a college president is now under six years, 2.6 years less than in 2006. While there are many factors at play in the shortening of presidential tenures, in many instances, the problem stems from an inadequate fit between trustees’ expectations and the executive’s performance. Presidential searches are time-consuming and often costly, so governing boards must carefully clarify their vision and map out the search process to ensure they make the right decision.

ACTA’s guide, Assuring a Successful College President Search, covers all the essential steps, from pitfalls to avoid, to interviewing candidates, to negotiating contracts. It offers several practical resources, including a presidential search checklist, a draft search calendar, a request for proposals from search firms, and more.

As an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability at America’s colleges and universities, ACTA is uniquely positioned to provide clear, unbiased guidance on this important topic. Hard copies of the guide will be distributed to every board chair in the country, and it is available to all at no cost on ACTA’s website.

Mr. Dickeson and ACTA Chief of Staff & Senior Vice Present Armand Alacbay are available for interviews. Contact to schedule an interview.

Read the complete guide.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gabrielle Anglin
PHONE: (202) 798-5425


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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