Open Letter from the Presidential Search Committee
April 4, 2023
To our Albion College family:
We are incredibly pleased to welcome Dr. Wayne P. Webster as the 18th President of Albion College. He is the right leader for our beloved College. Dr. Webster brings with him leadership experience that delivers results, tremendous passion for the liberal arts, a commitment to build consensus and strong roots in the Midwest.
As a Search Committee, we had a monumental responsibility: to identify the best possible leader for Albion College at this crossroads in our history. We entered each phase of the search, from initial screening to our final decision, armed with attributes and recommendations from so many of you who hold the College dear. And through each phase, it became abundantly clear we found that candidate in Dr. Webster, who will lead and support the College well into the future. It will be our job to support him in that endeavor.
Dr. Webster was the unanimous choice of our 15-person Search Committee, selected from a broad field of candidates. We saw in him a leader who could look across the College as an organic whole, develop the strategy needed to guide us through our next chapter and then execute that strategy, ensuring accountability for results from all stakeholders. We were struck by how intensely he listens and strives to builds consensus, which is a powerful combination that will resonate well at Albion College.
We feel these skills – as well as his background working in the Midwest – will resonate with our students, faculty and staff. Dr. Webster brings a profound respect for and interest in faculty, recognizing the partnership needed between administration and faculty to provide an exceptional experience for students. In Dr. Webster, our faculty will find someone who listens, who will gather their input before making a decision and will clearly and promptly articulate decisions once they are made. His work with students at colleges throughout the Midwest underscores his deep commitment to experiential learning. His commitment to DEI is evident in his championing the Black Student Equity Fund and other initiatives. And Dr. Webster’s experience with alumni will guide him in balancing respect for the past with the needs of the future of our institution.
His time as Interim President at The College of Wooster demonstrated his ability to lead an enterprise like ours. The success he enjoyed in Ohio will transfer well to our campus. It’s certainly no surprise that our College, like all small liberal arts institutions, is faced with real financial challenges – a declining market of students, pressures on tuition and expenses, inflation and more. Dr. Webster has a proven track record in finances, both in how to raise funds and how to be a careful steward of them. His institutional advancement experience will be critical as Albion College continues to look at establishing partnerships and expanding our support.
Dr. Webster also recognizes and respects the relationship between town and gown. His work in the City of Wooster and other college communities signals he understands it truly must be a handshake on both sides of the equation. Under his leadership, the College looks forward to strengthening ties with City, business and community leaders in Albion in recognition of how closely our fates are intertwined.
In Dr. Webster, we are delighted to find a new chief advocate, storyteller, fundraiser and friendraiser for Albion College. He will begin his tenure officially on July 1, but he has already embraced Albion College as family. We look forward to welcoming the entire Webster family to their new home this summer.
Joanne “Joey” Miller, ’75
Board Chair, Search Committee
Brian McPheely, ’78
Trustee, Search Committee Chair