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Presidential Search

Northwestern’s Next Chapter

A Message from the Chairman of the Board

Monday, April 12, 2021

Dear Northwestern University Community,

It is with enthusiasm that I announce the launch of the search for Northwestern University’s 17th president.

President Morton Schapiro announced last month that he will conclude his presidency August 31, 2022. Morty has brought Northwestern to great heights during his presidency, and Northwestern will forever benefit from his legacy. The Board of Trustees appreciates Morty’s vast contributions, and we look forward to his continued leadership during this transition period.

Northwestern has excelled in recent years and continues to establish itself among the world’s finest academic institutions. Throughout the University’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and while establishing a renewed focus on the need for improved racial and social justice, our community has exhibited compassion, tenacity, and commitment.

The Board of Trustees is responsible for selecting the president of our University, which is among the most important duties of the Board. We seek the next visionary president to lead Northwestern’s continued contributions and growing eminence in an evolving global landscape. To guide this effort, I have appointed a Presidential Search Committee that will ultimately advise the Board of Trustees on a candidate for election as Northwestern’s next president. The Committee’s composition maintains Northwestern’s distinguished tradition of including members who are widely representative of the University: trustees, faculty, students, staff, and alumni leadership. The Committee benefits from the perspectives of our students, whose inquisitiveness and achievements define the academy; our faculty, whose academic and research accomplishments have transformative impact in myriad areas, and whose teaching bestows on new generations the knowledge and methods for reasoning that will redefine our world; our staff, whose ongoing dedication and contributions are essential to fulfilling Northwestern’s mission; and our alumni, who have carried Northwestern into the world and engender the global influence of our institution.

The Presidential Search Committee seeks input from all these constituencies and will announce opportunities for broad engagement across the University in the coming weeks, including forums that will be held for various groups small and large. Your thoughts about Northwestern’s priorities and the qualities we should seek in our next president will inform the fundamental components of the formal position description and the Committee’s lens for this search.

In addition to upcoming engagements, the Committee welcomes your input and advice through this website, which provides ways for you to share your ideas – and nominations – for our next president. 

With great gratitude for your input and support,

J. Landis Martin
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Northwestern University

Contact the Search Committee

For more information, contact the search committee at presidential-search@northwestern.edu.