Presidential search survey results

Thank you for the tremendous response we received from the surveys we sent out asking for your help in our search for the 17th president of Goshen College. We received surveys from 1,577 of you, in addition to various listening sessions with on-campus and local groups of constituents. Many people care about the future of Goshen College!

Updates and information about the search process are available online at:

We thought you might be interested in taking a look at some of the highlights from the findings:


Ranked area of expertise

 The survey asked for a 5 (highest) to 1 (lowest) ranking on the ten areas of expertise that the search committee believes are important in the next president. The chart below combines all 1,577 responses.



Highlights from aggregating themes from the survey (not prioritized)

  1. A significant number people indicated that they are praying for the search committee and this process.
  2. There is a high expectation that the next president will develop close relationships with the college’s constituency groups, build affinity for the college’s core values, and provide clear and engaging leadership that implements the college’s mission and vision.
  3. There is an extremely high expectation that the next president will find ways to expand beyond traditional Mennonite boundaries while maintaining core Anabaptist values.
  4. There is significant recognition that we live in a challenging time in Christian (more specifically, Mennonite) higher education.
  5. There is a fervent desire for the president to play a leading role in shaping the relevancy of Anabaptist values for the next generation of students.
  6. There is a high expectation that the search committee look “outside of the box” for the next president.
  7. There is a high expectation that the next president will be a capable and qualified leader able to address the relational and operational issues facing the college. For example, the president should address declining enrollment and changing student demographics, strengthen fundraising and college finances, and improve the relationship with MC USA.
  8. There is hope that the next president will have extensive cross-cultural experience.
  9. Survey respondents overwhelmingly love and want what is best for Goshen College.

We are using these findings to inform the presidential profile we have been developing. As you consider these findings, you may have additional thoughts, reflections or potential candidates to share with the committee. Please feel free to do so by e-mailing: