Message from Robert C. Goddard III, Board Chair

November 20, 2019

Dear Emory Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I write with some details regarding leadership transitions at the university. I am profoundly grateful for the leadership of both President Sterk and Provost McBride. Together they have charted an ambitious course for the university. The board has full confidence in the goals they have established as well as in the ability of Emory's dedicated faculty and staff to achieve those aspirations. We wish Provost McBride every success as he takes the helm at The New School, a venerable and influential institution in the higher education landscape. As emphasized in our announcement, the university will continue to benefit from President Sterk’s leadership through the end of next summer. I also want to reiterate that President Sterk and the board will work closely with faculty, staff, alumni, and others in the community to ensure that Emory maintains its momentum in the year ahead as the presidential search progresses. 

We anticipate an announcement from President Sterk soon regarding her appointment of an interim provost, with the assumption that this important academic leader will serve in that role for more than a year to fully support the presidential transition. 

One of the most important responsibilities of the Emory University Board of Trustees is hiring the president, and we are organizing a presidential search advisory committee as a first step in that process. The search will be conducted on an ambitious timeline; we will continue to communicate with you as we make progress. As you may recall, during the most recent successful presidential search, we conducted a comprehensive engagement plan with the Emory community to seek clear guidance on the priorities and expectations for the new president. That perspective was highly valuable, and we expect to again rely heavily on those insights, along with additional input that our community may have, as we move forward. 

Finally, I have been in direct contact with School of Law Professor Ani Satz, who serves as president of the University Senate and chair of the Faculty Council, to arrange a time that I and other members of the board can speak with those groups about the presidential selection process.

During this period of change, Emory will not stand still: we are confident in the leadership of the deans and the executive team and fully expect the university to move ahead with boldness and ambition. On behalf of the Emory University Board of Trustees, thank you for all that you do to advance the mission of this great institution.


Robert C. Goddard III
Chair, Emory University Board of Trustees