President Osgood announces plans to step down in 2010
The Grinnell College Board of Trustees
Approved May 1, 2009
On the occasion of receiving and accepting Russell Osgood's decision to step down as President of Grinnell College on July 31, 2010, we, the Board of Trustees, make the following statement:
We deeply appreciate the enormous contributions President Osgood has made to Grinnell College throughout the past 11 years. He is an extraordinarily talented and effective president, whose strategic management skills, commitment to academic excellence, and collegial style have advanced Grinnell as one of the nation's truly outstanding liberal arts colleges.
We are tremendously grateful for the energy, devotion, and unwavering focus that President Osgood has exhibited in his work for Grinnell. He has brought a balance of decision-making and patience to his leadership. His tenure as president has reinforced our foundation and reaffirmed our mission; it will cast a long shadow for many years to come.
Under President Osgood's leadership, the College has fulfilled its mission and burnished its national reputation and leadership with these noteworthy accomplishments:
- Enhancement of our financial aid policies, capping loans at $2,000 per year in our aid awards, while strengthening the College's uncommon, need-blind commitment to meet the full demonstrated need for all domestic students
- Introduction of a thoughtful, comprehensive, and measurable strategic planning process that identified ambitious goals, consistent with Grinnell's national reputation, and effectively guided the College in pursuing and achieving them
- Establishment of the Expanding Knowledge Initiative, a program that has enriched Grinnell's distinguished academic program through new areas of knowledge and interdisciplinary study, including new faculty appointments in positions such as Earth Systems Science, Human Geography, and Film Studies
- Creation of several academic centers, including the Center for International Studies, the Center for Prairie Studies, and the Center for the Humanities
- Implementation of a master facilities planning process, which led to $260 million in new buildings on campus, including Phase II of the Noyce Science Center, the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, the East Campus Residence Halls, the John Chrystal Center, the Athletic and Fitness Complex, and the acquisition and renovation of the Old Glove Factory
- Substantially broadened diversity on campus, thus strengthening our faculty with gifted educators and interdisciplinary expertise and enriching our student body on all levels, which includes today more than 20 percent ethnically diverse domestic students and 12 percent international students
- Engagement as a civic leader and partner in the local community through multiple efforts that have enhanced the town of Grinnell's public facilities and amenities
- Development of a transparent, inclusive annual planning and budgeting process that functions within the context of a large and representative committee, which has served to protect the institution during this period of great economic volatility
By beginning a conversation last fall and advising us of his decision more than a year in advance, President Osgood has given Grinnell the opportunity to conduct a comprehensive, thorough national and international search. In searching for a successor, who will capably build on Grinnell's significant achievements and momentum, the Board will seek candidates from multiple disciplines with a diversity of perspectives, experiences and credentials from throughout the world. We will employ an open process, actively soliciting advice from the broad Grinnell community regarding the characteristics and selection criteria for our new President, as well as the sources that should be pursued in identifying high potential candidates.
In the coming weeks, we will establish multiple pathways through which the Grinnell community can share their perspectives about the selection of our new President. Following the Board's June retreat, we will provide additional details about the specifics of the search process, with the expectation that a new President will assume the office beginning August 1, 2010.