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An Update on the Presidential Search

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I hope that the 2024 spring semester is off to a good start for you.

On behalf of the presidential search committee, I write to provide an update on our progress. First and foremost, we are committed to completing a search to find the best candidate to lead Yale into the future. We are very grateful for the insights and input so many of you have provided to help us with the job at hand.

Last week, we received delivery of a report from the Student Advisory Council. It outlines the results of a survey the council completed among students. I understand that approximately 1,200 students responded to the survey, an impressive number. We are grateful for the seriousness with which the council undertook its work. We have added that input to the information we received from more than 2,000 faculty, students, alumni, and staff through in-person listening sessions, interviews, and messages sent to the presidential search email address.

I also want to express appreciation for the faculty members on the search committee, Steven Berry, Daniel Colón-Ramos, Jacqueline Goldsby, and Anjelica Gonzalez, for all their hard work and contributions to the committee and for their outreach to their colleagues across the campus. They have presented the themes from those sessions to the full search committee to inform our process.

As expected, there has been a broad range of responses to the three questions we asked members of the Yale community:

  • What are your aspirations for Yale as a continuing leader in higher education in the world?
  • What are the most important attributes of the next president of Yale?
  • What do you think are the most important areas of focus for Yale to impact the critical challenges facing the world today?

Although it is impossible to do justice to all the thoughtful and insightful responses, I want to share a few of the consistent themes that have emerged thus far from faculty, students, alumni, and staff.

  • There is strong pride in Yale as a leading institution in higher education. In particular, community members value Yale’s unique reputation as a world-renowned research university that is deeply and equally committed to excellence in teaching. You conveyed to us that it will take diligence and innovation—especially in light of the rapid pace of technological and scientific discovery—to ensure that Yale maintains this distinction.
  • We heard broad support for Yale’s current academic priorities. Many lauded our new investments to develop the sciences and engineering. Others focused on their desire for Yale to sustain and bolster its ongoing commitments to the university’s historic excellence in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Across these conversations, we were impressed to learn how keenly community members value interdisciplinary research and teaching, and we heard innovative ideas for how to amplify and improve those possibilities in Yale’s near- and long-term future.
  • There is clear alignment for Yale to leverage its reputation and resources to bear on the most challenging problems facing our society and our world.
  • When asked about Yale’s next president, people consistently expressed an interest in a leader who embraces and deeply understands Yale’s mission of research, scholarship, and teaching. You seek someone who can boldly articulate and advance Yale’s priorities, both within campus and beyond as an advocate for the value of a liberal arts education and the contributions of research and higher education to the greater good.
  • You seek a leader who can successfully complete the For Humanity campaign, to ensure Yale’s fiscal strength for generations to come.
  • You deeply value Yale’s commitment to partnering with the City of New Haven to improve the lives of everyone in our home community through educational and economic opportunities.
  • You want Yale’s president to be a compassionate leader who cares deeply about the well-being and success of every member of our community and who fosters a climate of belonging and constructive, open dialogue.

Thank you, again, to everyone who has taken the time to participate in this important process. Looking ahead, there is much work to do. Our goal is to complete a thorough search that fully considers every potential candidate. Such a search takes time, discipline, and focus. It is also a confidential process out of respect for everyone being considered. That can limit how much information we can share during the process. Most of all, we look forward to the day when we announce Yale’s next president. Until then, we encourage each of you to continue to provide ideas and nominations through the presidential search website.


Josh Bekenstein ’80 B.A.
Chair of the Presidential Search Committee
Senior Trustee of the Yale Board of Trustees