Linfield faculty, admin, want higher ed veteran after Hellie

Olivia Gomez, Staff Writer

A series of nods and hums of approval supported the committee’s desire for a person with experience working at a liberal arts college to follow Linfield’s retiring president.

Thomas L. Hellie, who became Linfield’s president in 2006, will retire June 30, 2018.

The presidential search committee gathered on Thursday morning in Riley 201 for an open forum question and answer session. The meeting was led by Kristine Johnson, the president search consultant, who responded to questions and noted the wishes of the search committee.

Dozens filled the chairs in the audience and many were vocal in their participation. Toward the end of the session, the same sentiment was reiterated: Linfield needs someone with an understanding of higher education and how a small college functions within a small community.

The next president should be “someone who gets what we do here,” one audience member said.

Esperance Ibuka, the area director for housing, emphasized how many students’ parents are encouraging them to attend small colleges like Linfield for the perceived amount of academic support they will get. The new president should understand that, she said.

Despite the session being open to the entire student body, no students attended. Recently elected ASLC President Tenzin Yangchen could not attend. She said the event, which was advertised as beginning at 10 a.m. but was finishing at that time, took place when many students were in class.