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Search for new Middlebury College president progresses

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College Board of Trustees is moving closer to selecting a new president for the institution.
The college’s current president, Ronald D. Liebowitz, announced in December of last year that he plans to step down on June 30, 2015.
The board of trustees this past spring created a presidential search committee to vet candidates for the post, chaired by Al Dragone Jr., who graduated from Middlebury in 1978. The college also hired Spencer Stuart, an international consulting firm with experience in searching for higher education executives.
The search committee reported in August that it discussed a “large number of individuals” who were nominated for the presidency. In a September statement, the committee said it had vetted 50 candidates and begun the interview process.
Prospects include university vice presidents, provosts, deans and others in the academic realm, as well as titans of government and the private sector. The committee will not disclose the identities of candidates because candidates may not wish their employers or co-workers to know of their interest in the Middlebury gig.
Dragone said he believed the committee would be in a position to make a final recommendation to the board of trustees early next year.
Liebowitz, the institution’s 16th president, became president in 2004. He first joined the faculty at Middlebury College in 1984, when he began teaching geography.
Based on the résumés of recent presidents, inside candidates may have an advantage in the process. Liebowitz’ predecessor, John M. McCardell Jr., also served on the college’s faculty before being tapped for the top post. 
Liebowitz, 57, has not announced any plans for what he will do after he leaves the presidency, though he did say when he announced he was leaving the job that he would not continue to work for Middlebury College.

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