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Catawba College President Search Committee hires search firm

SALISBURY – The Catawba College president search committee has hired a search firm to help with selecting the college’s 24th president.

The committee selected Storbeck/Pimental & Associates LP, based in Pennsylvania and California, after meeting on campus last week.

“In the process of hiring the search firm, committee members conducted in-person interviews with representatives from four search firms. The four interviewed were chosen out of nine who submitted proposals to assist in the search process,” a news release sent from Catawba College said.

The team will be lead by partner Dr. Jim Sirianni, who will coordinate the firm’s efforts with the search committee.

The firm has assisted other colleges including Davidson College, Rhodes College, Swarthmore College and Bucknell University.

The search comes after Catawba College’s current president, Brien Lewis, announced in July that he will be stepping down at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. He has served as president since 2012.

Lewis told the Post in July it was best for his family and the college to make the decision well in advance to give the board sufficient time to organize a full national search and identify a successor for the 2020-21 academic year.

The original announcement followed community concern about cuts to the college’s personnel and budget, but Lewis and Catawba College board members said the changes were not connected to his decision.

“The personnel reductions are not the result of compounding debt. Instead, they were decisions to fine-tune or redirect the school’s focus toward areas of growing student interest, including the nursing program and upcoming online-oriented programs,” Lewis said in an interview with the Salisbury Post in June.

The decision to move forward with hiring a search firm was made by Catawba College’s search committee in August.

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