Charleston, West Virginia
Aug 18, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
Presidents & Chancellors
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Presidential Search

at the University of Charleston


The Board of Trustees of the University of Charleston, a comprehensive, private institution of higher education located in the capital city of West Virginia, has launched a national search for the President of the University. The Search Committee invites applications, nominations, and expressions of interest for the next leader to advance the mission of the University.

Complete information is available in the Search Profile at

The Opportunity - After nearly three decades of leading the University of Charleston as its president, Dr. Edwin Welch has announced that he will retire, effective June 2018. Dr. Welch is credited with reinvigorating the University of Charleston from an enrollment of 736 full-time students when he arrived, to more than 2,400 in the fall of 2016 including a record 1,848 full-time enrolled students.

The 20 construction projects during Dr. Welch’s administration, which include eight buildings and two playing fields, have helped the University grow into a premier private institution. Most recently was the design and completion of the $20.5 million Wehrle Innovation Center on campus — a state-of-the-art facility that promotes the University’s signature innovation programs.

The search for the next President commences at a time of growth at the University. As of the fiscal year-ending 2016, the University had $135 million assets and $41 million in liabilities, for total net assets of $94 million. The University’s endowment market value as of June 30, 2016, was $38 million. Tuition and Fees were $28 million in 2016, an increase of $6 million or 27 percent from fiscal year-ending 2013 and net of a 39 percent tuition discount across all programs. 

Alumni support is increasing; annual fund gifts have consistently ranged from 5 percent to 9 percent of the University’s annual operating revenue over the past 10 years. Capital project funds raised have exceeded $100 million over the past 18 years. 

UC’s composite financial index was 3.0 for 2016 and was 2.6 or higher for the prior three years. The annual operating budget is $42 million. 

UC has had no federal compliance findings for the past six years and has had unqualified, clean audit opinions for over 25 years. 

Innovation is a strategic focus throughout the University’s curriculum. Its academic programs address emerging and growing needs in the region and world, and its core curriculum prepares graduates to be global citizens and leaders. The new Wehrle Innovation Center is designed to place students at the forefront of creative problem-solving while enabling them to explore potential paths for the future.

The President reports to the 20-member Board of Trustees, most of whom reside in the greater Charleston area. The President is the liaison to the Executive and Governance committees of the Board of Trustees, which are responsible for the oversight of the work of the board and the administration, the assessment of current board members, the recommendation of new board members, and other duties that do not directly fall under one of the other two standing committees of the board.

As UC’s chief executive officer, the President oversees the institution, providing the vision, administration, and guidance to advance the institution in meeting its mission of service to students. The President’s cabinet includes seven direct reports – Chief of Staff, Provost, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Enrollment/Marketing, Vice President for Development, Dean of Students, and Athletic Director. 

The UC President also serves important roles beyond the administration of the University. Because the University’s campus is located directly across the river from West Virginia’s State Capitol, UC is the host for many community events. The President is expected to be an active leader in the community.

The President also holds a leadership position in the Independent College Enterprise, a consortium that provides computing services for eight colleges in four states and is housed on the UC’s campus. Serving as the leader of this group is expected to continue for the next President.

Qualifications & Characteristics – The next President of the University of Charleston must have an earned doctorate or evidence of extraordinary intellectual engagement and experiences that demonstrate the ability to lead an institution of higher education.

Other qualifications include:

  • Ability to be an innovative, thought leader in the academic and greater Charleston community
  • Strong communication skills
  • Track record of success in fundraising and ability to promote the University
  • Experience as a senior administrator
  • Demonstrated knowledge of financial management and business principles
  • Experience in building teams and working collaboratively
  • Experience in and evidence of success in promoting and implementing innovative programs
  • Experience managing the challenges inherent in independent higher education
  • Evidence of inspiring and implementing innovative programs
  • Good awareness of challenges facing higher education
  • Experience in online education
  • Ability to articulate a coherent compelling strategy for the university
  • Ability to lead the University for at least 10 years

Other competencies and experiences of the selected candidate include the capability to do the following:

  • Embrace, articulate, and advance the University’s mission and vision.
  • Foster a vibrant and empowered community through a leadership style that evokes trust, welcomes debate and collaboration, reflects confident decision-making, and effectively engages the talents and experiences of the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
  • Further strengthen and strategically grow the University’s academic programming.
  • Effectively strengthen the University’s long-term financial position.
  • Facilitate the execution and implementation of the university’s long-range strategic plan.
  • Actively participate in campus and area community life.

The University of Charleston - The University of Charleston was founded in 1888 in Barboursville, West Virginia, as Barboursville Seminary, affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church South. There were 25 students enrolled.

In 1901, the school was renamed Morris Harvey College, in gratitude to a generous donor for a major gift. World War II halted growth of the institution, and the College disaffiliated from the Methodist Church, becoming an independent college in 1942.

Five years later, the University moved to the south bank of the Kanawha River, the current location, and in 1978, was renamed the University of Charleston.

Since 1888, UC has continued to develop and expand to meet the changing educational needs for and emerging opportunities for students from across the nation and around the world. With a focus on citizenship, communication, creativity, critical thinking, ethical practice, and inquiry, UC prepares students to be leaders in the fields they choose.

UC offers an array of outstanding majors and graduate programs to prepare students for the careers they want. The University has 221 accomplished and dedicated full- and part-time faculty, top-notch student experiences, great facilities, and a residential campus. A shared governance model allows the faculty to have a strong investment in the direction of the institution.

In January 2013, the University of Charleston expanded regionally, adding locations in Beckley and Martinsburg, West Virginia. These new locations provided the opportunity to offer new programs and expand access. The institution’s academic programs have been further enriched by the development of online and hybrid courses and programs.

The University is comprised of four schools: Arts and Sciences, Health Sciences, Pharmacy, and Business and Leadership.

The University awards 12 degrees.

Undergraduate degrees:

  • Associate of Science
  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Graduate degrees:

  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security
  • Master of Forensic Accounting
  • Master of Physician Assistant Studies
  • Master of Science in Strategic Leadership
  • Doctor of Pharmacy
  • Doctor of Executive Leadership

There are more than 20 undergraduate major programs and 18 minors at UC. Top majors at UC include Biology, Business, Sports Administration, Education, Accounting, Nursing, and Athletic Training. A Radiologic Science major is seldom found at other colleges in the region.

Nearly 98 percent of UC students who take their professional licensing and board exams pass on their first attempt, and 95 percent of the pre-med students who applied to medical school in the last two years have been accepted.

The University attracts students from throughout the United States and around the world. Within the 2,400-member student body, there are representatives from 41 states and 41 countries.

UC employs a unique outcomes-based model of education whereby students learn and master six competencies by graduation: Citizenship, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Ethical Practice, and Science. With a strong commitment to the community, the University provides hundreds of hours to community service.

More than 70 percent of the undergraduate students live on campus, creating an engaged and close-knit community. More than 30 student organizations provide a wide range of opportunities and activities.

The University fields 22 NCAA Division II men’s and women’s athletic teams: Baseball (Men), Basketball (Men and Women), Cheerleading (Women), Cross Country (Men and Women), Football (Men), Golf (Men and Women), Lacrosse (Women), Soccer (Men and Women), Softball (Women), Tennis (Men and Women), Track and Field (Men and Women) (Indoor and Outdoor), and Volleyball (Men and Women). The Golden Eagles compete in the Mountain East Conference.

UC won the Mountain East Conference Commissioner’s Cup for athletic excellence in 2014 and 2016. Men’s soccer has been in the national final four the last three years and the championship game twice. Women’s softball was in the World Series in 2016.

Charleston, West Virginia - The University of Charleston benefits from its location in the state’s capital city and proximity to the state’s largest medical, commercial, and financial centers, and to major research and manufacturing facilities, and other regional populations centers. Considered the cultural, recreational, and business capital of the Appalachian Mountain region, the greater Charleston area has more than 200,000 residents.

Charleston offers historic sites, an eclectic music scene, national and local stores for shopping, unique and casual dining, and four seasons of changing mountain landscape. The city is known for genuine hospitality and as a great place to live and visit.

The city also is the perfect hub from which to travel to other West Virginia activities. The capital city serves as the gateway to an abundance of outdoor recreation, including snow skiing, world-class zip-line canopy tours, whitewater rafting, ATV trails, golfing, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking – all within an hour’s drive or less. The city is in close proximity to three major interstates and to Yeager Airport, which offers 36 daily flights to nine nonstop destinations.

Application and Nomination Process - Confidential inquiries are welcomed.

To Apply - Applications must include: 1) Letter of interest, 2) Current resume or curriculum vitae, 3) At least five references with full contact information, including emails (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)


Submit applications to


The search remains open until the position is filled. For best consideration, submit application materials by November 6, 2017.

Nominations are invited and should include individual’s full contact information, with email addresses. Submit nominations to

David Gring, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, is assisting the University of Charleston with this search.

The University of Charleston does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status in administration of its educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, admissions, employment, athletics, and other school-administered programs in accordance with the laws of the United States and the state of West Virginia. Evidence of practices inconsistent with this policy should be reported to the Provost.

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting

515 Mulberry Street, Suite 200, Macon, Georgia 31201

(478) 330-6222 |

Similar jobs

Similar jobs