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Director of the Stephenson Institute for Classical Liberalism

Wabash College
Indiana, United States
Competitive Salary
Posted Date
Jan 19, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Academic Affairs, Academic Administration, Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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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.

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 by collaborating 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:

  • 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.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 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.

Inquiries and Applications

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. 

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 To apply, go to and click the “Apply Now” button. The application should consist of a letter of intent describing interest in the position, a full resume or CV, and names and contact information of three references. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by March 4, 2022.

About Wabash 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.

Wabash Graduates – Nearly 40% of Wabash’s 10,000 living graduates possess advanced degrees (27% boast terminal degrees). One in ten alumni holds a leadership position in his firm (director, owner, vice president, president, chairman, or CEO). The College’s placement rates to medical schools (94%) and law schools (88%) are nearly double the national averages, and Wabash’s first destination rate for the Class of 2021 was 100% within six months of graduation.

National Centers of Distinction – The College is home to the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion and the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program, which are wholly funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. Wabash also hosts the Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, which was founded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, and the Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) Consortium.

Crawfordsville and Montgomery County – Crawfordsville, Indiana, population 16,000, is the county seat of Montgomery County (38,000). Third-term Mayor Todd Barton is a Wabash College graduate, and successfully secured “Stellar Communities” designation from the State of Indiana, which allowed Crawfordsville to fast-track a series of transformational projects including construction of “Fusion 54,” a co-working space that brings together the city and county’s economic development and growth entities, with entrepreneurs and students in Wabash’s Center for Innovation, Business, and Entrepreneurship. Other Stellar projects include a downtown park; rehabilitation of a former insurance building, which will become a mixed-used space with restaurant/bar and boutique hotel; and a downtown cultural trail linking Wabash to the town.

Montgomery County is home to three school corporations and six museums. The Crawfordsville Community School Corporation has strong programs for gifted and talented students, as well as students with disabilities. Recent graduates have gone on to colleges that include Harvard, Princeton, and Northwestern, to name a few. The small business community is gaining strength, and there is an emerging “buy and eat local” movement that has grown from Crawfordsville’s very popular farmer’s market.

Crawfordsville is served by AMTRAK with service to Indianapolis and Chicago. The top-rated Indianapolis International Airport is a 50-minute drive from campus and Chicago’s Loop is less than a three-hour drive.

Employment opportunities for spouses and partners abound in the area. While the vast majority of Wabash faculty live in Montgomery County, thriving suburban communities northwest of Indianapolis include Zionsville and Brownsburg, which are each about a 40-minute drive to campus. West Lafayette, home to Purdue University, is just 30 minutes to the north.

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