Presidential search extended, possibly into fall term


Emerson’s cost of attendance increased from $19,303 per year in 1990 to $67,832 in 2019. Cullen Granzen / Berkeley Staff

By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

Weeks after the departure of former President M. Lee Pelton, Emerson is no closer to announcing his permanent successor, as college officials announced the extension of their presidential search on Friday

The search for a new president has been ongoing since January, a six-month process that has left many community members in the dark about where the committee is at in the search for finding the college’s thirteenth president. 

Originally, the committee—comprised of Board of Trustees members, students, and Emerson faculty—pledged to find a new president before the end of the 2020-21 academic year. That deadline passed with Pelton’s departure and the onset of the new academic year is now only six weeks away. 

In his community-wide email, Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee Chair Michael MacWade stated that the search was extended because of the need to find the appropriate candidate. 

“After many months of working diligently with our search consultant, StorbeckSearch, we have decided to extend the search process to ensure that we identify the right person to lead our extraordinary institution,” wrote MacWade. 

MacWade added that the current interim president, William Gilligan, will continue to occupy the position until a new president is named. 

“We are deeply grateful for Dr. Gilligan’s dedication and commitment to the Emerson community,” wrote MacWade. 

The email did not state whether Pelton’s successor will be announced before the start of the fall term.