President Donald Eastman

Donald Eastman has served as Eckerd’s fourth president for 19 years. The Presidential Search Committee is currently reviewing applications for Eastman’s successor.

Eckerd’s community is gearing up for a new president. Not just for the country, but also for the college. 

At this point in the process, members of Eckerd’s Presidential Search Committee are reviewing the applications. 

There have been more than 170 applicants ranging from current and former academic officials, individuals of non-traditional educational background and a number of presidents from both public and private institutions. 

Applications opened to all presidential candidates on Jun. 1, 2019 and extended through Sept. 3, 2019. 

In the coming weeks, the committee will come together to narrow the group of candidates down to a list of semifinalists, proceeded by an interview process for these selected individuals. 

On Feb. 13, Eckerd announced the retirement of its president of 19 years, Donald R. Eastman III. The search process for his successor was led by a committee composed of various faculty, Board of Trustees, executive staff and student representative, Kaitlyn Willgohs. 

“This is an exciting time for Eckerd,” Willgohs said, discussing the overwhelming interest received. 

Applicants were expected to provide a resume, a list of five professional references and a cover letter that serves like a campaign, expressing their knowledge and understanding of Eckerd’s goal and mission. 

Selecting the successor for Eastman is not an easy task, considering his 19 years working at Eckerd. 

Ian Johnson is serving as the chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, Board of Trustees vice chair and graduate of Eckerd’s class of 1989. According to Johnson, he felt that over the course of Eastman’s time with Eckerd that the president brought the college to a level that people only could have dreamed of when he first started. 

However, Johnson brought up that having someone different in the position is also a good thing. 

“You don’t want to get a clone of President Eastman,” Johnson said. “We’re hoping to get someone with additional ideas, someone that takes Eckerd to even greater heights.” 

According to Eastman, he has no doubt that the search committee will be able to select a candidate that cherishes the harmony between faculty and students on campus and who will bring Eckerd to even higher levels. 

“These are the kind of jobs that you spend most [of] your waking, sometimes your sleeping hours thinking about. It’s been a great experience being able to work with so many wonderful people and get to know so many extraordinary students,” Eastman said reflecting on his tenure at Eckerd. 

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