Vermont College of Fine Arts appoints Leslie Ward as new president
Congrats to our client in the news – Vermont College of Fine Arts!
VT Digger, Lola Duffort, 12/4/19 – Leslie Ward, the acting president of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, will take over as the Montpelier school’s permanent leader.
Ward will assume her role effective July 1, when her interim tenure concludes, VCFA trustees announced in a statement Wednesday. She was appointed in July, soon after the college’s founding president, Tom Greene, stepped down to focus on his writing career.
VCFA leaders had initially announced that they would conduct a national search for Greene’s replacement. But Bill Schubart, the chair of the board of trustees, said the college ultimately decided to suspend its search after receiving feedback from the campus community.
“The endorsement was so powerful for Leslie,” he said. “It was so universal.”
Ward has been given a two-year contract, with an annual compensation, including benefits, totalling $195,000, Schubart said.
Trustees received consulting advice from Chuck Bunting, a VCFA trustee and consulting partner with Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates, an executive search firm based in Pennsylvania. Schubart initially told a reporter Bunting was compensated for his work, but then reached back out to say he had done the work for free.
“I wasn’t sure that Chuck wanted the general public to know that he donated his services, and so I wanted to check with him,” Schubart said. Bunting, in an interview, also said he had provided his services pro bono.
A graduate of the school’s MFA program, Ward has also previously served as a trustee and holds an MBA from Harvard. She has worked for the Boston Consulting Group and done business development and strategic planning for the New York private equity firm General Atlantic Partners. She has also worked with non-profits, including Outward Bound, the Clark Foundation, and the Echoing Green Foundation.
“I am deeply grateful to the Board of Trustees for this honor,” Ward said in a statement. “I have always known VCFA is a special place worth investing time and energy, and I’m looking forward to leading it into its second decade.”
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