Cottey College, an independent liberal arts and sciences college, educates women to be contributing members of a global society through a challenging curriculum and a dynamic campus experience. In our diverse and supportive environment, women develop their potential for personal and professional lives of intellectual engagement and thoughtful action as learners, leaders, and citizens.


Cottey College will be a higher education institution of choice for women of diverse backgrounds who seek access to exceptional educational programs and will focus on three guiding threads: leadership, social responsibility, and global awareness. With care and respect for each student, we will empower women to enrich their lives, realize their full potential, and make valuable contributions to society. Cottey College will be a growing, vibrant, distinctive, and selective college for women, well known and respected for programs delivered in multiple and accessible formats, up-to-date facilities, and academic excellence.


The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee announce the search for the next President of Cottey College ( and invite applications and nominations for the position.

As an innovative and forward-thinking leader, the President is responsible for providing strategic and entrepreneurial leadership to ensure continuation of the exemplary success in all academic and operational areas. As the College’s Chief Executive Officer, the President will build upon the solid foundation of the College, lead a financially strong and well–positioned independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women, be committed to women’s education, and be prepared to strategically build the future of Cottey. The President must effectively articulate the unique heritage and relationship of Cottey College and the P.E.O. Sisterhood (

  • Demonstrates an appreciation for and an understanding of the traditions and values of Cottey College and women’s higher education
  • Advances the mission of the College as an institution of higher learning, renowned for its uniquely personal approach and distinguished for its teaching
  • Assesses, evaluates and directs College operations to increase efficiency and thrive in the competitive higher education landscape
  • Serves as the compelling spokesperson for the College’s distinctive position of regional leadership in social education, humanities education, and artistic and health sciences education
  • Leads Cottey’s efforts in fundraising and institutional advancement
  • Serves as the official contact between the Board of Trustees and the College
  • Prepares and submits to the Board of Trustees reports on the conditions and finances of the College
  • Builds and develops the skills of existing executive leadership
  • Appoints and/or dismisses such officers, management, faculty, and staff as may be deemed necessary for the efficient conduct of the College
  • Develops and supervises plans for campus and building improvements
  • Represents the College to its internal and external constituencies, including the P.E.O. Sisterhood, educational and athletic organizations, foundations, corporations and the general public
  • Is a transformational and effective leader
  • Exemplifies the vision and values of Cottey College with integrity and vigor
  • A strategic and visionary leader
  • Understands the relationship between the president and the Board
  • Anticipates the level of detail the Board should be provided, the need for timely communications, up-to-date financials, etc
  • Is a decisive but considerate administrator with a strong business acumen
  • Can communicate effectively across all constituencies
  • Understands: the importance of women’s education and voice; the lifelong value of liberal arts education; societal needs in health care education; the richness of developing students’ global awareness; the nature of continuous change in higher education
  • Easily builds relationships
  • Empowers others and is a servant leader
  • Is strategic, dynamic and synergistic
  • Has a high level of energy and enthusiasm
  • Is respected and respectful
  • Has a reputation for honesty, leadership, accountability and inclusiveness
  • Has respect for tradition
  • Is a decision-maker
  • Is transparent and collegial
  • Values people as individuals
  • Has a genuine and natural sense of humor

The ideal candidate will possess the following traits:

  • be a transformational and visionary leader with a commitment to women’s education
  • demonstrate a commitment to preparing women leaders for a global society
  • have the education preparation appropriate for a 21st-century college president or the equivalent business experience in managing sizable corporations
  • have a proven ability to effectively select, support, delegate to, and hold accountable a group of professional colleagues
  • be a relational leader with the ability to communicate effectively the College’s vision to all constituencies internally and externally
  • have a business acumen and significant experience in financial oversight of a complex operation
  • demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusivity
  • demonstrate success in a fundraising role
  • have experience in strategic planning
  • have an understanding of the technological needs/emerging trends in higher education

Cottey College

Cottey College is an independent, four-year baccalaureate-granting women’s liberal arts and sciences college. Virginia Alice Cottey founded the College in 1884 with the firm belief that women deserved the same quality of education as men. She bequeathed the College to the P.E.O. Sisterhood in 1927, making it the only nonsectarian college owned and supported by women ( The P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropic educational organization of over 225,000 members, is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for women. Having a two-tiered governance system, the College is currently owned and supported by the P.E.O. Sisterhood ( The College is located in Nevada, Missouri (pop. 9,000), approximately 50 miles north of Joplin and 100 miles south of Kansas City. The campus occupies 14 buildings on 11 city blocks and also owns a 33-acre wooded recreational area with lodge. Cottey is one of the top employers of the area. Nevada’s other major employers include 3M, Nevada Regional Medical Center, US Bank, and Walmart. The College boasts a residential student capacity of 350 women typically representing 40 states, Canada and 26 other countries.

Today, Cottey’s unique combination of women’s-only education, high academic standards, focus on leadership development, commitment to an international experience for every student, and a motivated, high-energy community is at the heart of its success. At Cottey, students can complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in four years with any of the following majors – Biology, Business Administration-Management, Criminology, English, Elementary Education, Environmental Studies, Health Sciences, International Business, International Relations, Liberal Arts, Organizational Leadership, Psychology, Secondary Education, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Graduates of the BA and BS programs are well prepared to enter the world of work and for advanced study in graduate, medical, or law school. Additionally, Cottey offers two-year, associate degree options. Students can earn an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Fine Arts – Art, Associate in Fine Arts – Dance, Associate in Fine Arts – Theater, or Associate in Arts – Music degree. Cottey alumnae go on to dynamic careers in business, entertainment, marketing, education, sports, communications, and many others. Most importantly, they continue their special connection with the College and each other throughout the course of their lives and careers.

In 2021, Cottey College was ranked #1 in the U.S. by the Chronicle of Higher Education for student-tenured professor ratio. Further, The U.S. News & World Report, in 2022, ranked Cottey #4 among its Best Regional Colleges. In total, 76 colleges were ranked from 12 states comprising the Midwest region

Cottey was ranked in four additional categories in the Midwest region by U.S. News & World Report. Cottey ranked #4 in Schools with Largest Proportion of International Students, #5 among Best Undergraduate Teaching Institutions, #14 in Social Mobility, and #19 Best Value College.

Nevada, MO

Metropolitan attractions are easily accessible to Nevada residents. Major shopping centers are within a drive on U.S. Highway 49 – Kansas City, 90 miles to the north, and Joplin an hour south. The Lake of the Ozarks area offers outlet shopping adventures less than 2 hours away for a scenic day trip through the rolling foothills across U.S Highway 54.

Lifestyles in Nevada represent the best of comfortable small-town living, with the advantages of a more metropolitan setting. In Nevada abundant recreational and entertainment options are readily available, and more importantly, are easily accessible and affordable. It is commonplace for persons to be on the golf course 10 or 15 minutes after leaving work. Water enthusiasts literally can be sailing, skiing, or fishing in the crystal-clear waters of area lakes within an hour’s drive! In the summer months, residents can take advantage of two-three hours of leisure time activities before twilight. Cottey College opens its cultural programs, plays, art exhibits, concerts, and athletic events to Nevada residents in the continuing spirit of partnership with the community.

Popular with visitors and locals alike are our historical attractions and murals, many of which are centered around the prominent Courthouse Square and central business district (circa 1908). The Bushwhacker Museum and Old Jail draw genealogical and history buffs, as does the “living museum” housed in the W.F. Norman Corporation, which is still producing original cast tin ceiling tiles for over 100 years.


Application Deadline:   January 28, 2022
Review of applications:   February 2022
Interviews with selected candidates:   March 2022
Board decision, and announcement:   Early April 2022
Start date for new president:   July 1, 2022


Cottey College is being assisted by the partners of Hyatt-Fennell

Applications and nominations should be submitted electronically to:

Applications include a cover letter, current CV or resume and contact information for five professional references

Nominations should include name of nominee and current contact information

For additional information contact

Cheryl Hyatt – or Robert Head –

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and should be submitted prior to January 28, 2022, to receive full consideration.

All applications and nominations are considered highly confidential.

Interested in this position?


Share this job post

Cottey College is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing equal opportunity to its students and employees in all aspects of campus life. The College does not unlawfully discriminate in educational programs, recruitment and admissions of applicants, school-administrated activities or programs, or employment opportunities, policies, or practices on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. In addition, and in accordance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Cottey College does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sex in its educational programs, school-administrated activities or programs, or employment opportunities, policies, or practices. Cottey College has designated Title IX coordinators to handle all inquiries regarding its efforts to comply with and carry out its responsibilities under Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972.


Back to Full List

Get in Touch

Home Contact Us