Rev. William Plumer Jacobs arrived in Clinton, South Carolina, in 1864, following the devastation of the Civil War, and he dreamed of building an orphanage in the area. In October of 1875, Thornwell Orphanage opened its doors to 10 orphaned children. Five years after establishing the orphanage, Dr. Jacobs was faced with another challenge; sending those children to a proper college to continue their education. The institution—first called Clinton College—was organized in 1880 under the ownership and management of local Presbyterians. Clinton College was coeducational from the beginning, with three women in its first graduating class in 1883. A new charter in 1890 changed the name to Presbyterian College of South Carolina. Under provisions of this charter, the management of PC grew from the local church to trustees from the South Carolina synod of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Over the years, Presbyterians from Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina continued their support through the Synod of the South Atlantic. As a result, these states remain traditional sources for our students and the principal residence for the majority of our alumni.
PC’s 240-acre campus is unified around a central mall designed in 1912 by renowned New York City landscape architect Charles Leavitt, Jr. Its four grassy plazas are surrounded by stately red-brick buildings of Georgian and Neoclassical design, which provide academic space, dining facilities, student housing, recreational areas, and athletic venues. Six campus buildings are part of the Thornwell-Presbyterian College Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The campus is well-maintained and is in the final phases of renovation and new construction that began in 2014. This effort includes the completed renovation of student housing and the August 2019 opening of a new 144-bed dorm for upperclassmen; the complete renovation of the Springs Student Center on track for fall 2020 completion; the 2017 renovation of the campus dining hall; new undergraduate academic space in several buildings; the renovation of Bailey Hall, previously a residential facility, into dedicated classrooms, offices, and study space for graduate students in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program scheduled to open in 2021; and the recently announced gift to renovate the 1100-seat Belk Auditorium with construction slated to begin by year end.
Presbyterian College offers over 60 student clubs and organizations – from Greek Life to Student Government to Student Volunteer Services. No one sits on the sidelines at PC. Everyone on campus works hard during the week but takes the time to play on the weekends. It’s about relationships: a big family on a small campus where everyone makes time to say hello.
Following the successful tenure of PC’s retiring president at the end of 2020, PC seeks a leader to serve as its 19th president, continue its rich 140-year legacy, and expand its reputation as one of the best small colleges in America. The current higher education climate presents a prime opportunity for true leadership and requires a leader who loves the mission of shaping lives and possesses the experience and skills to lead a complex higher education organization that supports excellence in academics, transparency in governance, and innovation in strategic planning.
PRIORITIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The President of Presbyterian College is expected to:
Be the primary champion and voice for the College and embody the unique culture that makes the College special – learning from and building upon the past, fully engaging the present, and, in collaboration with the Board of Trustees, casting a compelling vision for the future.
Lead the College within a challenging environment for higher education that has major demographic and technological shifts occurring at a rapid pace. The President will need to align an inspiring and achievable vision with this future and be a change agent, an innovative thinker, and a nimble leader to enable the College to continue to flourish.
Champion racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity and bring understanding, sensitivity, and a demonstrated commitment to engaging a diverse faculty, staff, student body, and broader constituency.
Promote the College’s undergraduate liberal arts education, the growth of its graduate programs, and cultivate the continued development of programs that are relevant, desired, and fiscally sound.
Proactively engage in fundraising and resource development for the College by personally prioritizing the development and cultivation of key donor relationships and partnerships, and by overseeing strategic fundraising campaigns.
Strive for the highest levels of achievement, in cooperation with the faculty, staff, and students, in all academic and co-curricular activities in which the College participates, maintaining an appropriate balance among academic, athletic, creative, and social interests in keeping with the College’s mission and priorities.
Maintain a high level of visibility as an ambassador for the College in various settings outside of the campus as well as involvement with student life through attendance at student cultural, athletic, and social events.
Balance and lead the vital role of athletics at the College. As one of the smallest members of NCAA Division I (FCS) and with nearly 40% of the student body participating as athletes, athletics is an important part of the College’s role in character formation, its vibrant campus life, and robust alumni engagement.
Recruit, develop, hold accountable, and retain excellent administrators, delegate requisite authority to them and provide a climate in which they can function effectively. Exhibit an executive leadership style that models and promotes integrity, transparency, collegiality, accomplishment and support; build and maintain an executive team that effectively executes the strategic plans of the College.
Communicate openly, directly, and respectfully with all the College’s constituencies – students, faculty, alumni, administration, staff, the surrounding communities, and the Board of Trustees.
Be responsible for the financial health and well-being of the College and provide competent leadership in all aspects of financial decision-making.
Keep a pace consistent with a high-impact, professional environment, successfully addressing the complex and dynamic issues within higher education.
Understand that the College is part of a rural community within a broader metropolitan area, and as such, the town, its citizens, and the College benefit from informed and collegial town/gown relationships.
Appreciate the College’s historical founding as a church-related school and actively support that commitment in the education of the whole student. The President shall prepare and submit annually to the Presbyterian Synod of the South Atlantic a report in writing which shall include a statement of matters as in his/her judgment may be desirable and proper.
QUALIFICATIONS & DESIRED ATTRIBUTES
Hold a terminal degree or equivalent (Ph.D. preferred) or have substantial professional experience in lieu of this requirement.
Bring significant leadership and administrative experience in complex organizations.
Possess high emotional intelligence, resolute and courageous leadership, and an ability to withstand and wisely lead through the internal and external criticisms and challenges common to executive responsibility.
Possess well-developed speaking and presentation skills, the public face of the College.
Wholeheartedly support the academic enterprise and uphold high standards of academic excellence and scholarship.
Lead with humility, kindness, and hospitality.
Demonstrate a love for people, evidenced by being approachable and expressing a sincere interest in all of the stakeholders of the College, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.