Announcing Presidential Search Committee


Dear members of the Kenyon College community,

I am pleased to announce that the Board of Trustees has appointed 15 outstanding members of the Kenyon community to serve on the presidential search committee and formally charged them with selecting Kenyon’s 20th president. The new president will succeed Sean M. Decatur, who will step down after nearly a decade as Kenyon’s president to assume the presidency of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Provost Jeff Bowman, who has served as acting president since July 2022, will continue in that role until a successor is named.

The presidential search committee includes representatives from the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the administrative staff, the student body and the alumni and parent community — selected following the protocol of recent Kenyon presidential searches. Trustee Aileen C. Hefferren ’88 H’12 will serve as chair, assisted by David Horvitz ’74 H’98, trustee and committee vice chair. Aileen has served on the Executive Committee of the Board since 2006 and chaired the Board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for many years. David joined the Board in 1988 and currently serves as co-chair of the Our Path Forward to the Bicentennial campaign. Chief of Staff Susan Morse will serve as the campus coordinator for the search. 

The appointment of a president is among the most important responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. I am enormously grateful to Aileen and David for their leadership and vision, and to each and every member of the committee for the experience, judgment and great love for Kenyon I know they will bring to this crucial task. The full committee includes:

Aileen C. Hefferren ’88 H’12, Search Committee Chair
Trustee, New York, NY

David W. Horvitz ’74 H’98, Search Committee Vice-Chair
Trustee, Fort Lauderdale, FL 

Ubongabasi Asuquo ’23
Student, Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria

Rocco Danese ’23
Student, Brooklyn, NY

Brackett B. Denniston III ’69
Trustee, Naples, FL

Samie Falvey ’96
Former alumni trustee, Los Angeles, CA

Erika Farfan
Associate Vice President, Institutional Research

Elisabetta Ghisini P’24
Trustee, San Francisco, CA

Christopher M. Gillen
Professor of Biology

Pamela Feitler Hoehn-Saric ’80 P’10, ’14
Trustee, Gibson Island, MD

Benita Jackson P’18
Trustee, Columbus, OH

James Jackson
Senior Director of Campus Life

Joseph E. Lipscomb ’87 P’19
Trustee, Washington, DC

Pashmina Murthy
Associate Professor of English

D. Matthew Voorhees ’95
Trustee, Washington, DC

Search Coordinator
Susan L. Morse
Chief of Staff

Kenyon has a long tradition of extraordinary presidents, and I am confident that this able group will deliver a successor who is a match for that legacy and for Kenyon’s ambitious third century. 

Please watch for further updates from the committee, with dates for community forums and other ways to offer your input on Kenyon’s next president. The presidential search section of Kenyon’s website will serve as an ongoing resource for search information.

We all look forward to working with, and hearing from, the Kenyon community in the coming months.


Brackett Denniston III ’69, Chair
Kenyon College Board of Trustees