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Trustees Extend Five-Year Contract to Eckerd College President Donald R. Eastman III

posted on 10/24/2006

The Eckerd College Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its board meeting over the weekend to extend its contract with President Donald R. Eastman III for another five years.

"The most important act of a board of trustees is the selection of the college president," said Miles C. Collier, chairman of the Board. "Related to that responsibility is the annual performance evaluation of the president based on mutually agreed upon goals. Five years ago after an extensive search, the College successfully recruited Don Eastman to serve as the College's fourth president since its founding in 1958. Each year we have reviewed the Board and College's achievements under his leadership and affirmed the wisdom of our selection."

The Board conducted a five-year review with the assistance of a nationally recognized leader in higher education. Over 75 members of the College community - including trustees, faculty, staff, and student leadership - participated in interviews. The responses in the review were overwhelmingly supportive.

"I deeply appreciate this vote of confidence by the Trustees for the work we have done together these past five years and for the time to come," said President Eastman. "We still have a lot of work to do, and the Trustees' support is both personally and professionally indispensable to me.

"The achievements of the past five years are not the results of the efforts of any single individual. This is a perfect time to recognize the accomplishments of the College and to celebrate our faculty for their scholarship and mentorship, our students for their love of learning and community, our staff for their tireless support of the collective academic and administrative enterprise, our alumni for their dedication to and love of alma mater, and friends whose support has brought us so far."

Since President Eastman joined the College in July 2001, the Board has been reorganized and strengthened; applications, retention and enrollments have increased; the number of tenure-track faculty has grown; the number of students living on campus has almost filled capacity; the College's residential and lifelong learning programs have achieved added national distinction; alumni support and engagement with the College have increased significantly; the College's affiliated enterprises were sold; and financial stability has been achieved. Click here for Highlights of Achievements at Eckerd College Since 2000.

Says Mr. Collier, "We affirmed that President Eastman provided the essential leadership needed within the Board and the College community to move the College forward dramatically these past five years. We have complete confidence in President Eastman's continuing ability to lead us to a higher level of financial health, academic achievement and national recognition over the next five years."

About President Eastman
Donald R. Eastman III was appointed the fourth president of Eckerd College in July 2001. Before his appointment, Dr. Eastman served ten years at the University of Georgia, first as Vice President for Development and University Relations and then as Vice President for Strategic Planning and Public Affairs.

President Eastman is a member of the board of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and the Salvador Dalí Museum, and he is a member of the Florida Orchestra Board of Advisors. He chairs the Committee on Tax Policy of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He has been a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) Council on Public Affairs, and he recently completed service on the Board of Directors of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He has published on topics in higher education, international education, and English literature; he also writes poetry.

President Eastman earned his B.A., magna cum laude, in Philosophy and English (with a minor in Art History) from the University of Tennessee. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida. He and his wife, Christine, have three sons.

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