Coker University (Hartsville, SC) is engaged in a search for its 17th president. The Presidential Search Committee welcomes inquiries, nominations, and applications for an experienced and energetic leader to propel this student-focused, comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core into its next chapter as it seeks to educate with distinction the new student majority. This is a highly attractive leadership opportunity at an institution with a venerable history coupled with a progressive and innovative approach to education.
Coker University is a modern university, known for its signature round table, discussion-based learning combined with hands-on experiences designed to encourage active participation inside and outside the classroom. A Coker education centers around personalized learning and the values of the university’s student covenant—integrity, respect, scholarship, sustainability, service, and contribution. Coker students can choose from 30 areas of study from three distinct schools and one college: Coker College of Humanities and Sciences, School of Business, the P.L. and Belle Wolfe McCall School of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Wiggins School of Education. Coker offers five fully online graduate programs: M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instructional Technology, M.Ed. in Literacy Studies, M.S. in College Athletic Administration, M.S. in Criminal and Social Justice Policy, and M.S. in Management and Leadership. Coker employs 66 full-time and 48 adjunct faculty members. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 for the traditional undergraduate program, Coker’s faculty are both teachers and mentors throughout a student’s college career and after graduation.
Coker’s student body comprises approximately 970 undergraduate students and 130 graduate students. Seventy-five percent of the students are residential, and 25 percent are commuter students. Thirty-nine percent of Coker’s student are first-generation university students, and 37 percent of Coker students are from under-represented groups. Coker offers 20+ registered student organizations and activities, as well as numerous leadership opportunities. Student-athletes make up 45 percent of the undergraduate student population. Students compete in 21 NCAA Division II sports as part of the South Atlantic Conference (SAC).
Recent institutional accolades include recognition among the Best Regional Universities in the South and Best Value Schools in Regional Universities South (U.S. News & World Report), the Best Colleges for Financial Aid (LendEDU), Best Southeastern Schools (Princeton Review), South Carolina’s 2nd Best School for the Social Mobility of its Graduates (Harvard Equity of Opportunity Study), and Strong Commitment to Undergraduate Teaching and a Most Innovative School (U.S. News & World Report 2019).
Coker University’s beautiful 15-acre campus sits on the edge of downtown Hartsville (named an “All-America City” in both 1996 and 2016) and hosts some of the town’s most historic buildings. In addition to its impressive academic facilities, Coker has a state-of-the-art athletic facility, a performing arts center, and a music center. Additionally, Kalmia Gardens of Coker University, the area’s oldest and only public garden, is located approximately three miles from the heart of campus. Downtown Hartsville (population 7,700) is a bustling college town with great restaurants, local shops, a boutique hotel, and a popular farmer’s market.
Coker University’s next president will bring high energy, optimism, authenticity, self-confidence balanced with humility, courage, deep personal integrity, a strong work ethic, and a clear understanding of the modern liberal arts university to her or his work. Coker’s next president will be a servant leader with a deep understanding of, and experience with, the opportunities and challenges facing higher education broadly. While the Presidential Search Committee is eager to consider many possible pathways to the presidency, candidates possessing a terminal degree will be preferred.
The Coker University Presidential Search Committee will begin to evaluate applications immediately. Although applications will be welcomed until the time that a new president is selected, candidates should submit materials by March 2, 2020 to ensure fullest consideration. The new president is expected to begin work on July 1, 2020.
Applications should include a complete résumé or vita and a letter of candidacy that responds to the agenda for leadership and the desired attributes for a new president. All application materials will be considered in full confidence and should be submitted electronically to CokerPresident17@storbecksearch.com.
Ms. Julie E. Tea – Partner and Ms. Julie Williams-Krishnan - Senior Associate at Storbeck Search & Associates have partnered with Coker University on this search. Nominators and prospective candidates are encouraged to contact them at CokerPresident17@storbecksearch.com to arrange confidential conversations.
Coker University, in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, marital status, veterans or military status, or against individuals with disabilities, or other legally protected classifications in the areas of employment, admission, financial aid or access to educational or extracurricular programs, activities or facilities.