About the Presidential Selection Process
The selection of Sonya Stephens as Mount Holyoke's 19th president concludes a presidential appointment process that unfolded in several stages. It began with the creation of a “Role Specification” document that reflects a shared understanding of what we were seeking in the president of our College. The Board of Trustees asked Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., president emerita of Spelman College and former acting president of Mount Holyoke, to engage with the College community — faculty, students, staff and alumnae — to discuss then Acting President Stephens’ demonstrated capability in the context of the Role Specification.
A community-wide effort in February was held to define the key leadership competencies for Mount Holyoke’s future success. This resulted in the Role Specification, which anchored all subsequent deliberations.
In early March, Dr. Tatum met with members of the College community on the campus as part of her independent assessment of Stephens' qualifications against the criteria outlined in the Role Specification. Tatum also conducted phone interviews and sought feedback from Mount Holyoke constituents through an online survey.
Even as the College embarked on this critically important presidential succession process, Stephens and her leadership team — in partnership with the dedicated members of the community — remained focused on the continued success of Mount Holyoke College and the execution of its priorities during the upcoming semester. The community’s support for and involvement in this process and these critical efforts is deeply appreciated.