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Bates president announces plans to step down

"I have loved my time at Bates," Clayton Spencer wrote in a letter shared Wednesday.
Credit: Bates College
Bates College President Clayton Spencer will step down on June 30, 2023.

PORTLAND, Maine — The president of Bates College in Lewiston announced Wednesday that the 2022-2023 academic year would be her last in the role. 

Clayton Spencer became president on July 1, 2012, after serving more than 15 years on Harvard University's senior leadership team, according to her bio on the Bates website. Her presidential tenure is set to end June 30, 2023. 

Spencer has been applauded for a substantial increase in applicants during her tenure as well as improvements to diversity and inclusion, workforce entry initiatives, and fundraising efforts. 

"I have loved my time at Bates," Spencer wrote in a letter shared Wednesday. "On my first trip to campus in December 2011, when I was introduced to the Bates community, I was so impressed by the students I met and thrilled to get a sense, firsthand, of the beautiful work our faculty and staff do every day to make Bates the extraordinary place it is. I have felt so lucky to be part of this community, and I am proud of all that we have accomplished together." 

Spencer also said in the letter that she notified the Board of Trustees about her departure, and they will be launching a search process for the next president. 

"The selection of the president is one of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Trustees," John Gillespie, chair of the Board of Trustees, said in the announcement. "The search will be broadly consultative, and we will form a search committee that includes representatives from the campus community in addition to trustees."

Spencer noted that she is grateful for her time at Bates and is "not at all sure what this next chapter will bring." That said, she indicated that she is looking forward to her final year in the role. 

"There is so much to be accomplished here in the year ahead, and I am grateful that I will have the joy of continuing to work with all of you who make Bates possible," she wrote. 

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