Recently the executive director of the Student Press Law Center, Mark Goodman, announced that he has accepted a position with Kent State University as Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism. This is a newly created position — one that seems tailor made for Mark — and I’m sure you’ll all join SPLC’s board and staff in congratulating him and in wishing him well.
Mark has served the SPLC for the past 22 years. In itself that would be an amazing tenure, but it only tells a small part of the story. Mark has built the reputation of the SPLC to a position today of national prominence: SPLC is the foremost advocate for the speech and press freedoms of high school and college students and the teachers who advise them. He has been incredibly dedicated to the organization; we are deeply grateful for his passion and for his many years of hard work.
SPLC’s board has begun making plans for a smooth transition as our organization enters a new era. A committee already is at work outlining the qualities, background and experience we are looking for in a new executive director. We expect to have a job description and application information available later this month. Please check the SPLC’s Web site in a few weeks for more detail: www.splc.org/directorsearch. Our goal is to interview candidates during the summer and name a successor by the late fall/early winter. (If you have names to recommend for consideration as the new executive director, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org). Mark will officially begin work at Kent State in January, 2008, and he will play a key role in the transition process.
It is never easy to lose the person who has been an integral part of creating and sustaining an organization for as long as Mark has. But the SPLC is in a strong position now: We recently completed our first-ever endowment campaign, launched three years ago with help from many of you and thanks to a generous challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Our financial position is good, and we have a dynamic and committed staff doing the SPLC’s important work as a champion for student voices.
The Board of Directors wishes all the best for Mark, and wants you to know that we are committed to a strong and vibrant SPLC throughout this process and for many, many years to come.