Wabash College: Founding Director of the Stephenson Institute for Classical Liberalism
Wabash College seeks a founding director of the Stephenson Institute for Classical Liberalism, a non-partisan, student-centered forum that asks important questions about personal responsibility, individual rights, freedom of speech, and the essential role of liberty in a free society. The Stephenson Institute engages the College and broader communities in the study of classical liberalism and creates dialogue on the importance of such ideas today, with a particular focus on public policy questions related to topics like economic freedom, civil society, and freedom of speech.
About the Institute
Launched in October 2021, this new institute is made possible by a generous grant from Richard J Stephenson ’62, a Wabash alumnus who founded Cancer Treatment Centers of America. From his early years growing up in post-Depression small-town Indiana, Stephenson has admired the role that individual initiative plays in creating prosperity and increasing human well-being. As a prominent philanthropist, entrepreneur, and global merchant banker, Stephenson was recently recognized in Vienna with the Hayek Lifetime Achievement Award; the award celebrates the Austrian School of Economics, which emphasizes the complexity of human knowledge and the idea of spontaneous order in social institutions.
Grounded in a nearly two-century tenure of liberal-arts higher education in Indiana, Wabash’s new Stephenson Institute draws on a long tradition of classical-liberal teaching. Among the most prominent examples, Benjamin Rogge (1920-1980), Professor of Economics and Dean of the College for over three decades, was a leading scholar of classical-liberal thought in America. In the 1950s, Rogge invited Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman to give a lecture series at Wabash, which later became Capitalism and Freedom, a book that has sold over a half million copies. Rogge was also dedicated to undergraduate teaching and inspired numerous Wabash alumni who consider him a mentor and exemplar, including Mr. Stephenson.
The director will report directly to the President and exercise leadership over the institute. She or he will work closely with students, faculty, and staff in implementing the Stephenson Institute’s new campus programs. The director will also be responsible for the institute’s external relations, including collaboration with a variety of organizations and individuals interested in classical-liberal scholarship and related initiatives. The institute’s emerging network will engage the college community in these ideas and approaches, providing Wabash with even more high-quality student experiences, both on- and off-campus, and access to engaging forums, workshops, and speakers. Specific duties include:
- Articulate the institute’s vision, which will require a detailed multi-year implementation plan.
- Conceive, plan, and organize dynamic on-campus student programs (workshops, invited lectures, and other events).
- Supervise institute staff, including student fellows.
- Network with the College’s nationally recognized alumni base as well as external groups to provide students with high-quality public-policy internships and experiences.
- In concert with Career Services, advise students on related internships and job placements.
- Work with the Dean of the College and a faculty advisory committee to support faculty engagement with the institute.
- Work closely with Wabash faculty and staff to create related co-curricular student experiences, which may also include course immersion trips.
- Meet regularly with the directors of other Wabash initiatives to explore co-sponsored programs and mutually support one another.
- Work with the College Advancement office to establish an external advisory board composed of alumni, and recruit other high-profile friends of the institute, including public officials, journalists, and scholars.
- Travel and weekend work to meet with organizations, alumni, and other individuals interested in the institute, as well as attend relevant conferences as a representative of Wabash.
- Regularly review and reconcile the institute’s budget.
- Collaborate with the Dean for College Advancement on reporting, donor intent, and the overall long-term financial health of the institute.
- In consultation with the college marketing team, develop an ongoing public-relations plan.
- A terminal or professional degree highly desirable; bachelor’s degree with significant, equivalent experience will be considered.
- Understand the public-policy process and the government/nonprofit sector, with relevant work or educational experience a plus.
- Demonstrate a spirit of open inquiry, enthusiasm for the institute’s mission, and understanding of classical-liberal thought and approaches.
- The position requires a high energy individual with the ability to engage collaboratively in scholarly discussions and effectively lead and manage staff and student participants.
- An appreciation for the broad intellectual community of an excellent liberal arts college, the ability to work closely and effectively with a diverse student body, and a commitment to excellence in undergraduate education.
Wabash College, a liberal arts college for men, seeks faculty and staff who are committed to providing quality engagement with students, high levels of academic challenge and support, and meaningful experiences that prepare students for life and leadership among diverse populations around the globe. Wabash is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes applications from persons of all backgrounds.
The application should consist of:
- a letter of intent describing interest in the position;
- a full resume or CV;
- and the names and contact information for three references.
Questions and inquiries from prospects, as well as nominations, should be directed to James L. Amidon, President’s Chief of Staff and Director of Strategic Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by March 4, 2022.
From the college
Wabash College is a private liberal arts college for men located in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Founded in 1832, its mission is to “educate men to think critically, act responsibly, lead effectively, and live humanely,” and it accomplishes its mission in a residential community in which faculty are highly engaged with their students, in and out of the classroom.
Wabash College is home to the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. Approximately 30% of our students are federal Pell Grant recipients, one-third of our students are first-generation college students, and 17% of our students identify as domestic students of color. Wabash is a member of the USC Race and Equity Center’s Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, a top-60 Liberal Arts College according to U.S. News, and a member of Colleges That Change Lives. Many students, staff, and faculty find the close-knit community of the residential college one of the most rewarding aspects of their time here.
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