From Student Advisory Council report

Throughout its presidential search process, the University has solicited community input through listening sessions for faculty, students and alumni, interviews and a survey conducted by a Student Advisory Council. 

Although senior University trustee Joshua Bekenstein ’80, who leads the selection process, shared “a few of the consistent themes” that emerged from the community input in a Monday morning email, the full report — compiled by the Student Advisory Council, or SAC — was not released. 

The News obtained the full internal report:

The full SAC report that the News obtained discusses topics not explicitly mentioned in Bekenstein’s Monday email, including free speech and academic freedom on campus, student mental health and diversity, equity and inclusion. According to the report, its results were finalized one week ago and a preliminary version was compiled by Nov. 20 and shared with the search committee on Dec. 8. 

Bekenstein’s email is the first public update that the committee has released in three months since its last email to the Yale community on Oct. 23. 

Bekenstein wrote that although the task of synthesizing the large amount of “thoughtful and insightful responses” the Search Committee received is “impossible,” the committee found “consistent themes” from the results of the SAC’s survey and the over 2,000 faculty, students, alumni and staff who chimed in through listening sessions, interviews and individual messages sent to the search committee. The email summarized these themes in a list of seven broad points.

The SAC, tasked with collecting input on the qualities and characteristics that students look for in University President Peter Salovey’s successor, is the first of its kind in a Yale presidential search. The SAC was announced by the Search Committee following widespread student demand for a student voice in the search and, according to the report, is modeled after a “similar” student advisory committee at Harvard University.

The SAC’s 21-page report lists six “personal qualities” students want the search to prioritize and a list of  “university-wide challenges students find most pressing.” Among those are student mental health, maintaining a diverse student body and addressing climate change.

The SAC report concludes with a list of 585 responses submitted as potential questions that the Search Committee could ask candidates.

The University did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday evening. 

There are 12 students on the Student Advisory Committee with four representatives from Yale College, four graduate students and four students from the professional schools. 

Benjamin Hernandez covers Woodbridge Hall, the President's Office. He previously reported on international affairs at Yale. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, he is a sophomore in Trumbull College majoring in Global Affairs.