College hosts Presidential World Café

On Monday Feb. 24, faculty, staff and students were invited to share their ideas about the qualities they would like to see in the next president of Geneseo during the second Presidential Search World Café. According to Geneseo’s website, a world café is a group discussion tool that bases itself on “the understanding that conversation is the core process that drives personal, business and organizational life.”

This method was utilized on Monday to discuss ideas about Geneseo as an institution and how the next leader can best carry out its current mission and future goals.

“It’s a fully mixed-up conversation, which I think is always good,” Interim President Carol Long said.

Long hosted the event with the intention of first looking at the kinds of things that Geneseo needs as an institution and then determining what kind of leader Geneseo would best benefit from, taking these needs into account.

The first Presidential Search World Café examined the actions and engagements of previous presidents of many different institutions as well as Geneseo’s past presidents, generating ideas about qualities that the community would like to see in the next Geneseo president.

Monday’s event focused more on how the next president should fit Geneseo’s particular needs as a small public liberal arts college.

One of the major discussion topics was finding a new leader that can “be wholly committed to the school while also being an authentic individual,” Long said.

Participants discussed topics such as media relations, enrollment management, faculty upgrades and the possibility of growth, all as challenges a new president would have to face.

“The college itself has never talked about growing,” Long said.

Another significant discussion topic was the new challenges the next president would face in this time of fast-paced communication and abundant technology.

“It is important to have the ability to appreciate our current values and translate with today’s new values,” Milne Library Director Cyril Oberlander said.

The discussion also focused on certain archetypes that residents of universities have and which of these archetypes would be relevant on the Geneseo campus.

There are two more Presidential Search World Café planned to discuss the qualities necessary in Geneseo’s next president.