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Plainfield, Vermont
United States
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Goddard College's next President will lead the development of a new strategic vision, building on Goddard's strong foundation of progressive education, to advance our deep collective commitment to social and environmental justice. Goddard's Board and a broadly representative search committee are of one mind on the importance of selecting a President who will bring imaginative energy, proven leadership ability, and progressive values to the challenge and who will work in concert with the Board and the college community to refine this vision and bring it to fruition.

About the College

Goddard College was founded in 1938 in response to the rise of fascism in Europe, in the belief that interactive, self-directed education can help build civil, democratic societies. Today, Goddard's diverse learning community aligns with a deep collective desire for and insistence on social and environmental justice.

An experimenting college, Goddard has continually offered new educational models in response to societal needs. It was one of the first colleges to include adult learning in its charter, and Goddard pioneered the low-residency model for higher education. The fundamental principles of progressive education, such as experiential learning, individualized study, education for social responsibility, and lifelong learning, continue to guide Goddard's relationship with every student.

Today Goddard offers graduate and undergraduate programs, all low-residency. While each student's core degree work is done independently under the mentorship of their faculty advisor, all students and faculty in each program meet in community for one eight-day residency each semester at one of Goddard's three campus locations: Plainfield, VT; Port Townsend, WA; or Seattle, WA. In 2017 we enrolled approximately 500 students, who were served by a full-and part-time faculty of 85, an administrative staff of 113, with a $10 million annual operating budget.

All of Goddard's programs strive to embody our values and commitment to social justice, to human rights, to agency and protection for all people, and to thoughtful action to save our earth. We believe that the strength and richness of the Goddard educational experience arises, in large part, out of this shared aspiration. Our students come to Goddard, from across the U.S. and around the globe, with the specific intention of transforming themselves, their communities, and their world.

Current Circumstances

Goddard aspires to be both a progressive institution and a model of progressive education. Our commitment to social and racial justice and equity, especially as these values apply to College governance and community life, is unwavering. Our challenge, which is not uncommon in this field, is to hold those values and also to prosper in the competitive and complex world of higher education.

In the past, when Goddard was primarily a residential college with one central location, our democratic standards were more readily achieved through direct dialogue. Today, we still value the principles of collaborative, democratic, and participatory governance, but the geographic dispersal of our programs and communities require us to imaginatively create and embrace new approaches to uphold these principles in practice. We also recognize the need to modernize our formal and informal administrative processes, to empower more strategic management, and to share governance in a more effective and timely manner.

In addition, market forces demand more consistent and polished methodology for student recruiting, enrollment management, fundraising, and other aspects of college leadership. The College is in the process of addressing these and other pragmatic exigencies.

We begin this search without all the answers but with the conviction that an informed, honest two-way dialogue with serious candidates is the best way to develop a common understanding of what must be done, and how, and to shape a genuine and powerful sense of trust and partnership going forward. Our goal, then, is for the College's next President to begin with a full understanding of the objective circumstances and challenges facing Goddard today. To this end, serious candidates for this position will be welcomed into a candid, open, and comprehensive dialogue.

Role and Responsibility

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President will have overall responsibility for the planning, implementation, administration and management of all college programs, services and systems. Critical aspects of this position include: fundraising, institutional strategy, and forming external relationships to bolster programmatic, communication and growth strategies. In addition, the President is expected to serve as the College's primary public spokesperson, articulating Goddard's vision, mission, and values with internal and external stakeholders.

We seek a President who is committed to our Mission: "Advancing cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world." Demonstrated commitment to social justice, a collaborative leadership style and democratic values, effective academic leadership and organizational management skills and experience in strategic and fiscal planning and growth are key requirements.

With effective leadership from our President we are confident that our programs and the College as a whole can grow and adapt to meet emerging needs. We are now in a position to invest key resources to reach an untapped market of prospective students. We see this as the most immediate task of the new President and their team.


We are committed to creating a college representative of a diverse global community and capable of creating change. We encourage qualified candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Goddard College does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, marital/civil union status, age, gender, gender identify or expression, sexual orientation, veteran/uniformed service status, disability or other legally protected classification in any of its policies or procedures. This institution is an equal opportunity provider, and employer.