St. Olaf College | News

Presidential Search Candidate Profile released

The search for St. Olaf’s 12th president is entering a new phase, as the Presidential Search Committee and the college’s search firm, Storbeck Search finish gathering input and begin reviewing candidates’ applications.

The committee plans to present its recommendation to the Board of Regents in the fall. The leader selected will succeed President David R. Anderson ’74, who announced in May 2021 that he would step down at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

In a message to the community, Presidential Search Committee Chair Stephanie Fehr ’87 shared the Presidential Search Candidate Profile that will be used to recruit and inform candidates for the role. Her full letter is below.

Dear St. Olaf Community,

 It has been a busy several weeks for St. Olaf’s Presidential Search. We conducted more than 40 meetings with students, faculty, staff, alumni, Regents, parents and community leaders. We also received and reviewed responses from more than 3,100 people on the stakeholder survey, which identified what respondents believe to be St. Olaf’s top priorities, and the attributes needed in our next leader to achieve them.

So, what was on everyone’s minds? Following – in order – are the key priorities stakeholders identified:

  • Diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Affordability
  • Academic quality
  • Institutional culture
  • Student success
  • Faculty and staff recruitment/development
  • Financial stability

That information, combined with the priorities listed in the Visioning Task Force’s report approved by the Board of Regents in September 2021, informed the creation of our new Presidential Search Candidate Profile. This profile will be used to actively recruit and educate candidates who are interested in the role.

We’ll have one more opportunity for the community to engage before we begin reviewing applications and selecting candidates for initial interviews. Our search firm, Storbeck Search, and members of the Presidential Search Committee will be on campus April 28 for three listening sessions open to staff, faculty and students. More information about the timing and location for those events will be shared soon, and we encourage you to attend. We want to hear what the campus community thinks about the next president. What is important to you? What should we make sure we ask candidates about?

After the April campus visit the confidential part of the search process begins, which includes reviewing applications and conducting interviews. As you know, we have opted for a private search to attract the most qualified and highest quality candidates, many of whom may be currently working in high-profile leadership roles. Nominations are welcome and may be sent to

From there, the Presidential Search Committee will present its recommended candidate or candidates to the Board of Regents in the fall. We look forward to introducing St. Olaf’s next president to the community shortly thereafter.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this process so far. It is inspiring to see such high levels of engagement, which shows how important this college and its success is to so many.


 Stephanie Fehr ’87, Chair

St. Olaf College Presidential Search Committee