Nearly a year since Dr. Gerald Brouder’s retirement announcement, the search committee has presented two candidates for the 17th president of Columbia College.

Scott Dalrymple and Randall Hanna will visit Columbia College-St. Louis and the main campus in Columbia, Mo., from Jan. 12 – 14, during which, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members will be able to meet candidates during designated forums. A survey will be available online for those who have a chance to meet with the candidates. Dalrymple is dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y.; Hanna is chancellor of the Florida College System, based in Tallahassee, Fla.

“The search committee is enthusiastic to share the outstanding finalists with everyone,” said Daisy Grossnickle, chair of the board of trustees. “When choosing the finalist candidates, it was imperative that they understand the breadth of our institution and are capable of leading Columbia College into the future.”

Columbia College’s search for a new president began after Brouder announced his retirement on Jan. 10, 2013. Shortly after, Dr. Terry Smith was named interim president for the 2013-14 academic year, so the college could have ample time to seek a qualified candidate for the 17th president.

In the 2013 State of the College address in September, Smith outlined accomplishments and opportunities for the college, many of which the new president will likely encounter. “The state of the college is strong,” Smith said at the time. “And we are only just getting started.”

Accomplishments and strengths of the college include serving more than 31,000 students at the various campuses – from Day Campus to Evening Campus, from Nationwide Campuses to the Online Campus. The college is an innovator in technology and online education, yet is steeped in historic tradition. It is debt-free and has a committed faculty, a dedicated staff and a campus culture of civility and respect. But most importantly, the college is centered on student academic achievement and development.

Some opportunities for advancement for the new president include sustaining and enhancing the quality and success of the college and continuing to balance all the dynamics and elements of the college’s mission. The president must serve the needs of every student while working with a tight budget amid cuts to Pell grants, military tuition assistance and Access Missouri funds.

The presidential profile lists additional accomplishments of and opportunities for the college. In that profile, the college listed characteristics of a president who can maintain the college as a model institution and lead it to new levels of success. The college desires a president who:

  • Has substantial executive-level administrative leadership.
  • Has a history of innovation and a demonstrated record of leadership in the management of a dynamic and complex organization.
  • Is steadfast about academic excellence, committed to transparency and shared governance and who will engage at the ground-level.
  • Demonstrates an ability to develop long-term allies and partnerships.
  • Can manage the financial resources of a complex organization in times of both strong and challenging financial climates.
  • Recognizes student learning as the primary basis for decision making.

Dalrymple and Hanna will visit Columbia College-St. Louis and the main campus in Columbia, Mo., from Jan. 12 – 14, during which, students, faculty, staff and community members will be able to meet candidates during designated forums. A survey will be available online for those who have a chance to meet with the candidates.

“I encourage everyone that has the opportunity to give feedback through the survey provided to do so,” Grossnickle said. “The information collected will be valuable as the board of trustees makes its decision of the 17th president of Columbia College.”

On Jan. 17, the board of trustees will hold an executive session to discuss the selection of the 17th president.

Scott DalrympleScott Dalrymple, Ph.D. (full bio)

The survey is now closed. Thank you to those who provided feedback by completing a survey. The survey results are being compiled and provided to the Board of Trustees.

Scott Dalrymple, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Excelsior College since 2010, oversees the undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, and he also is the founding dean of the college’s School of Public Service. Prior to that, Dalrymple served as tenured chair and associate professor of business administration and accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., from 2003 to 2010. From 1999 to 2003, Dalrymple served as the Beech Professor of Business Administration; department chair of the business, accounting and economics department; and director of the MBA program at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan.

Prior to his work in higher education, Dalrymple spent eight years in marketing, finance and entrepreneurship in corporate settings. He also has published several books, peer-reviewed articles and pieces of fiction.

Dalrymple holds a doctorate degree in English and a master’s degree in business administration from the University at Buffalo, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English from The State University of New York College at Geneseo.

Randall HannaRandall Hanna, J.D. (full bio)

The survey is now closed. Thank you to those who provided feedback by completing a survey. The survey results are being compiled and provided to the Board of Trustees.

Randall Hanna, chancellor of the Florida College System since 2011, oversees 28 state and community colleges and the Florida Virtual Campus, and he also legally represents the system before the Florida legislature. Prior to that, Hanna served on the boards of trustees for the University of West Florida, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College, and he served two terms on the Florida State Board of Community Colleges.

Prior to his time in higher education, Hanna practiced law for nearly 30 years, including serving as the managing shareholder and chairman of Bryant Miller Olive, a multi-state law firm, for more than 13 years. His legal work included representing, together with his colleagues, the United States Department of Education and multiple universities and colleges.

Hanna holds a Juris Doctor from Florida State University, a master’s degree in business administration from Emory University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. He is scheduled to defend his dissertation for his doctorate in education in April 2014 from the University of Pennsylvania.

Web-based surveys will be available online for those who have a chance to meet with the candidates either in person or through videoconferences that have been established for employees and students across the country. Surveys will be open from Jan. 12 until noon CST on Jan. 15. The forum schedules for various college constituents are below.

Dalrymple’s forum schedule
January 12, 2014 – Location: Columbia College-St. Louis

  • 1-2:30 p.m.: Tour of campus and forum for faculty, staff and students

January 13, 2014 – Location: Bixby Lecture Hall

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.: Forum with staff – available virtually to nationwide staff
  • 10:45 – 11:30 a.m.: Open forum with alumni/community leaders/former trustees/media
  • 3 – 4:30 p.m.: Forum with faculty – available virtually to AHE adjunct faculty
  • 4:35 – 5:35 p.m.: Forum with students – available virtually to AHE students

Hanna’s forum schedule
January 13, 2014 – Location: Columbia College-St. Louis

  • Noon – 1:30 p.m.: Tour of campus and forum for faculty, staff and students

January 14, 2014 – Location: Bixby Lecture Hall

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.: Forum with staff – available virtually to nationwide staff
  • 10:45 – 11:30 a.m.: Open forum with alumni/community leaders/former trustees/media
  • 3 – 4:30 p.m.: Forum with faculty – available virtually to AHE adjunct faculty
  • 4:35 – 5:35 p.m.: Forum with students – available virtually to AHE students

To read more about the finalists and the search process to this point, visit the presidential search website.