March 1, 2021

Update, March 1, 2021

Dear CIIS Community,

The Board of Trustees met early Friday morning to discuss next steps in the search for the next president of CIIS. We learned that Anne Prisco has withdrawn from consideration having accepted another position. Though it is disappointing that both of our finalists chose other positions, we know that we had selected strong candidates worthy of leading our University.

The trustees agreed to immediately reopen the search. The goal remains to have a new president in place on July 1. We are confident that working with our consultants from AGB Search we will find compelling candidates.

We will continue to update you as we move through the process.


Judie Wexler and Board Chair Michael Pinto

On August 11, 2020 CIIS President Judie Wexler formally announced her retirement from CIIS at the end of June 2021. President Wexler has ably served the CIIS community since 2002, especially as President since the end of October 2016. President Wexler has done much to ensure that the Institute is operating from a place of financial strength with rigorous academic programs and a strong leadership team. During President Wexler’s tenure new programs were started in community mental health; human sexuality; ecology, spirituality, and religion; integral and transpersonal psychology; and the center for psychedelic therapies and research. While slated to retire in June 2017, the Board of Trustees asked her to step in as interim president at a time when there was a large projected deficit and an upcoming accreditation visit. 

The Board recognized that President Wexler cared deeply about the CIIS community and strongly desired to see its values and mission alive in the world. With a well-led management team, the deficit was eliminated and the accreditation visit ended well. During her tenure at CIIS she was instrumental in establishing the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the China Project, the Writing Center, and online learning initiatives. The Board of Trustees, with deep gratitude, thanks President Wexler for her long and dedicated service to CIIS, is committed to ensure that her final year of service as president is most successful, and wishes her a joyful and prosperous retirement allowing her time to embark on new adventures.

The By-Laws of CIIS, at Article I, entrust to its Board of Trustees the solemn and consequential power and duty to appoint the President of the Institute. The Trustees have appointed a nine member Presidential Search Committee to assist the Board in its presidential search and selection process. The Presidential Search Committee is composed of nine members: Board members Mike Hebel (chair), Michael Pinto, Ricki Pollycove, Brenda Sanders, Mikey Siegel, and Meihong Xu; Faculty member Alka Arora; Staff member Francisco Gomez; and Student member Kaye Reeves.

The Board of Trustees has hired the consultant firm, AGB Search, to help the search committee fulfill its duties. AGB Search, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, focuses exclusively on higher education, conducting searches for leadership positions at colleges and universities throughout the United States. It has assisted with more than 600 full-time executive and interim searches at over 400 institutions and organizations.

CIIS Administration, Former President, Staff News, Community

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