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Board issues statement on review process

Michael K. Powell, rector of the College of William and Mary, sent the following message to members of the College community following the Board of Visitors meeting on Sept. 28.   —Ed.

To Members of the William and Mary Community:

The Board of Visitors has received inquiries and expressions of interest regarding the expiration of President Nichol‚s employment contract on June 30, 2008. Ultimately, the Board and the President will have to decide whether to renew the Agreement. Given the significant interest in this decision, the Board believes it would be useful to set out the basic elements of the process it will follow in developing its position.

One of the most critical responsibilities of the Board is to evaluate the performance of its chief executive. Conscious of our duty, the Board has developed a structured, objective and thorough review process. The Board intends to abide by its established process before reaching any decision. Pursuant to the terms of the President's contract, the review will examine achievements as measured against goals and objectives presented by the President to the Board as well as other metrics. Additionally, our appraisal will include a 360 degree review, which is a feature of the best appraisal systems. Once this process is complete and we discuss the matter with the President, a final decision will be made solely on the best interest of the College. That decision should be expected in the spring of 2008.

The Board values the opinions of alumni, faculty students and friends of the College. We will establish a special email account for written comment. Alternatively, comments can be mailed to the Board. This contact information is provided below. We wish to emphasize, however, that this decision is not a public referendum and there is no purpose served by petitions or mass volume mailings. We will give consideration to thoughtful, well-reasoned and respectfully expressed opinions.

The Board is mindful of its heavy responsibility and is committed to a process that reflects the importance of the decision the Board ultimately will reach. Our loadstar will be, as it always has been, advancing the best interests of our exceptional university. Although we are engaged in this review, President Nichol remains the leader of this College and he has our support as we collectively tackle challenges and chart the course of the future of William and Mary.


Board of Visitors
College of William and Mary
Attn: Evaluation Committee
PO Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187