Announcing A Transition: A Letter From The Executive Director

June 6, 2019
Story by Andy MacCracken

Update (8/22): Position description available here.


I wanted to take a moment to tell a story, share some personal news, and enlist your help.

A couple of weeks after announcing the launch of NCLC in January 2012, I found myself at a White House meeting, discussing what education stakeholders wanted to hear in that year’s State of the Union address. Folks around the table shared their agendas, and when the room turned to me, I said “more than anything else, students want to feel heard. We want a seat at the table.” One of President Obama’s speechwriters responded: “you are literally at the table now. What policies do students need?”

Seven and a half years later, I believe NCLC has fostered a new era of student leadership, dedicated to strengthing student influence and developing substantive ideas that will improve students’ lives. Getting students into the room and making sure policymakers know what policies students need.

This work remains as urgent as ever throughout higher education and beyond. NCLC’s future is critical to student success.

Now, the news: I will be transitioning out of my role as NCLC’s Executive Director toward the end of 2019. I am endlessly optimistic about the organization’s future and feel it’s important to ensure its longevity beyond its founding leadership. A transition this year is the right time for me personally and a healthy milestone for the organization itself. I am fully confident in our board, the professional team we’ve built, our current funding strategy, and our amazing community of current and former student leaders.

While leadership transitions can sometimes bring anxiety, I hope this transition will generate excitement about the future of student leadership. NCLC has celebrated remarkable achievements over the years, but I am most proud of the way our organization and community has shifted the culture around student leadership itself. Today’s enormous challenges demand purpose-driven leadership from every campus across the country. NCLC has helped usher in a new era of student leadership, focused on visionary policy change while advancing manageable solutions along the way.

When we started NCLC, students lacked the infrastructure, leadership, and resources to sustain ongoing, substantive policy engagement at a national level. Today is different. Since our 2012 launch, students have driven powerful advocacy on medical amnesty, student loan debt, campus sexual assault, mental health, racial equity, environmental sustainability, among many other issues.

Your help: Over the coming months, we will run a national search for my replacement. I am excited about the process, and I hope you will be a part of it. NCLC has always been more than an organization; it is a community devoted to helping every student by strengthening student voice. Please take a moment to share your thoughts on (1) what qualities you think will set up NCLC’s next Executive Director for success, (2) what you think is important for our Board to consider during this search, and (3) what you’d like to see from NCLC in the future.

Here are some details about what will happen next:

  • I will remain Executive Director for the next 5 months or so as that search takes place and stay on in an advisory capacity during the transition period
  • Our board chair Lauren Thompson Starks and board member David Croom will be spearheading the search, which we expect to open this month

I may leave my post as Executive Director, but I will always be a co-founder. I look forward to supporting and elevating NCLC’s important mission and students’ work as a former SGA president, like so many of you.


© 2019 National Campus Leadership Council

© 2019 National Campus Leadership Council

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