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Presidential Search

Members of the Search Committee

Trustees

  • Elizabeth D. Baird C’83, Chair – Trustee
  • L. Duane Davis, Vice Chair – Former Trustee, Chair of the Finance Committee and Academy Parent
  • Dr. Sarah Berga* – Trustee
  • Dr. Patrice B. Davis C’89* – Trustee
  • Stratford N. Kiger C’90 – Trustee
  • Dr. Brandy Nelson C’97 – Trustee
  • Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran* – Trustee

Faculty & Administrators

  • Dr. Daniel Prosterman – Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of the College
  • Kathy M. Barnes C’81* – Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • Dr. Traci Porter* – Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Biology Department at Salem College
  • Dr. Sheryl Long* – Director of Teacher Education and Graduate Studies in Education
  • Kris Porazzi Sorrells C’96, – Academy Head of School
  • Dr. Christopher Clary – English teacher at Salem Academy

Students

  • Megan Sigler C’21* – College Student Government Association President
  • Sophie Severs A’21 – Academy Honor Cabinet President

June 10, 2021

Salem Academy and College Shepherds in a New Era with Appointment of President Dr. Summer McGee
Founding and Current Dean of University Of New Haven School of Health Sciences Will Assume Role As 22nd President

Today, the Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees announces the appointment of Summer Johnson McGee, Ph.D., CPH as the 22nd President of the institution. Dr. McGee is the founding and current Dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Connecticut and will assume her new role at Salem starting July 1, 2021.

As a highly awarded leader and a passionate advocate for women’s education, Dr. McGee will be a source of inspiration and advocacy to the young women of the Academy and College. Dr. McGee received the American College of Healthcare Executives Distinguished Faculty Regents Award in 2014, was named one of the Top 50 U.S. Healthcare Management Professors in 2015, was recognized as one of Connecticut Magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2019 and received the University of New Haven’s Excellence in Teaching award in 2017.

Dr. McGee was selected by the Board of Trustees following an extensive, nationwide search with input from Salem’s faculty, staff, and students.

“Dr. McGee has a deep appreciation for the history of Salem as the nation’s oldest institution for educating women and embraces the Academy and College’s focus on developing future leaders who will make a bold impact locally, regionally, and globally,” McDara Folan, Chair of Salem Board of Trustees, said. “Our search committee spent a great deal of time and energy finding the right leader with the right qualities and experience as well as a strong passion for educating women.  We are confident Dr. McGee is the perfect fit for the Academy and College.”

Earlier this year, Salem College announced the launch of a new, innovative Health Leadership focus for fall 2021 to prepare the next generation of women leaders in fields across the health ecosystem. Salem Academy, a private boarding and day school for grades 9-12, shares a campus with Salem College and is one of the nation’s premier all-girls schools with proven expertise in educating young women through a rigorous, highly personalized academic model, focused on confidence-building co-curricular activities, and lifelong learning tools. Both schools place high value on academic excellence and women’s leadership.

Folan and the members of the Board thanked Dr. Susan Henking for serving as Interim President of Salem since May 2020. Her tenure allowed the Board time to find the ideal new President to launch a new era for Salem Academy and College.

“I am deeply honored to be selected as the next leader of Salem Academy and College. This is an incredibly exciting time for the institution to celebrate its history while at the same time imagining its future in bold new ways,” Dr. McGee said. “Salem is uniquely positioned to develop the next generation of women leaders one woman at a time.”

As the Founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven, Dr. McGee accomplished an ambitious strategic plan overseeing the creation of more than a dozen new in-person and online undergraduate and graduate level academic programs, including one of the only professional doctoral programs in health sciences in the nation. Under her leadership, the University of New Haven’s healthcare management graduate program became the ninth largest in the nation, including its executive program at Yale-New Haven Hospital, both of which were accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education and became the only program of its kind in Southern New England. She also led the University of New Haven’s COVID-19 response and became a sought after academic and media expert related to COVID-19 in the last year.

Founded in 1772 in Winston-Salem, NC, Salem Academy and College is celebrating its 250th Anniversary beginning in September with a variety of events throughout the 2021–22 academic year.

“Dr. Summer McGee is uniquely qualified to help lead Salem Academy and College into the next 250 years. Her experience as the founding Dean of the School of Health Sciences has honed her knowledge, skills, and abilities to bring about both schools’ transformations,” said Elizabeth Baird, incoming Chair of the Salem Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “Dr. McGee brings enthusiasm, energy, and a clear vision to the campus, and I cannot wait to work beside her.”

Dr. McGee holds a PhD in Bioethics & Health Policy from The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Philosophy and a BA in Bioethics from Indiana University Bloomington (IU). She also is a graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Management Development Program. Before joining the University of New Haven, Dr. McGee served on the faculty of Loyola University Chicago, the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and Albany Medical College.

April 20, 2021

Dear Salem Academy and College Community,

I hope that you and your loved ones remain in good health. I am writing on behalf of the Presidential Search Committee members with another update on our continued progress.

We are very pleased to report that the search for the Academy and College’s next President is progressing well. The Presidential Search Committee recently met and continued its efforts to identify candidates whose backgrounds and experiences seem especially well matched with the qualities and qualifications established for the search. At this gathering, the search committee considered a robust and diverse pool of applicants and chose to advance a select group of outstanding candidates for confidential preliminary interviews.

Our search consulting team and I indicated early in the process that the need for confidentiality might be a top priority for leading candidates in our search. Indeed, that remains the case. The candidates hold significant positions where they are currently. We want to honor their wishes to continue to explore this exceptional opportunity at Salem with the assurances that their engagement in our search will not become widely known at their home institutions.

While many institutions choose to conduct their entire presidential search as a closed process, others, like Salem, want to ensure appropriate opportunities for constituent groups to engage confidentially with the candidates and provide feedback to the Presidential Search Committee. Please be assured that members of the committee are thoughtfully identifying these opportunities for members of our Academy and College community, beyond the search committee, to be engaged in the final stage of candidate evaluation slated for next month. Additional student, faculty, staff, and other representatives of the Salem community will meet with the finalists and help to shape the consideration of them, while still meeting the privacy wishes of our distinguished group. Moreover, these community members will aid the search committee in championing all that is good and great about Salem Academy and College to the candidates.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. I will provide additional updates as the search moves into its latter stages. Please feel free to reach me with any questions at elizabethdbaird@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth D. Baird signature

Elizabeth D. Baird
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

February 10, 2021

Dear Salem Academy and College Campus Community: 

We are making good progress toward the selection of the next president of Salem Academy and College.  Salem’s Board of Trustees distributed a Request for Proposals (RFP) to hire an executive search firm in late 2020.  We received several strong proposals, conducted a thorough review, and are pleased to announce that Salem’s Board of Trustees has retained Storbeck Search to guide our selection process.

Storbeck Search began work in January with a goal of naming a new president by mid-year. 

Woman-owned and woman-led, Storbeck Search is an executive search firm with success in finding leaders for higher education, health, and independent schools. These areas often overlap to provide the most talented and broadly diverse pools of candidates.  Storbeck Search has a national reputation based on its integrity, connections, and insight from decades of experience.  Storbeck Search is committed to working proactively and energetically to recruit an excellent and diverse pool of candidates for Salem Academy and College.

The Search Committee will continue to provide regular updates to the Salem Academy and College alumnae and the campus community.  Updates will  also be available at Salem Academy-Search and Salem College-Search.

Below, please find a list of the names of the 15 individuals who make up the Presidential Search Committee.  The Committee working with Storbeck Search is composed of alumnae, trustees and a former trustee, and leadership representing the Academy and College, including student representatives.

The Chair of the Search Committee is Elizabeth (Liz) D. Baird, who also is Salem’s incoming Board of Trustees Chair.  It is crucial for the incoming Board Chair to have a key role in the Search Committee, and I’m thrilled that Liz has agreed to serve in both capacities.  In addition to her leadership, Liz is a third-generation alumna (C’83) and is a proud parent of a Salem College alumna.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank Interim President Susan Henking for her ongoing and vital leadership of Salem Academy and College.

Sincerely,

McDara P. Folan, III
Chair, Board of Trustees

Elizabeth D. Baird C’83, Chair – Trustee
L. Duane Davis, Vice Chair – Former Trustee, Chair of the Finance Committee and Academy Parent
Dr. Sarah Berga* – Trustee
Dr. Patrice B. Davis C’89* – Trustee
Stratford N. Kiger C’90 – Trustee
Dr. Brandy Nelson C’97 – Trustee
Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran* – Trustee
Dr. Daniel Prosterman – Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs and Dean of the College
Kathy M. Barnes C’81* – Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Dr. Traci Porter* – Associate Professor of Biology and Chair of the Biology Department at Salem College
Dr. Sheryl Long* – Director of Teacher Education and Graduate Studies in Education at Salem College
Kris Porazzi Sorrells C’96, – Academy Head of School
Dr. Christopher Clary – English teacher at Salem Academy
Meghan Sigler C’21* – College Student Government Association President
Sophie Severs A’21 – Academy Honor Cabinet President

*indicates the individual was a member of the prior Search Committee