Presidential Search Update from Board Chair, Lawrence R. Lynch '8109/23/2016
Dear Members of the University Community,
The selection of the president is among the most important duties and responsibilities of the Board of Trustees. After careful consideration, the Board has established an inclusive search process that will gather input from across the University community and that will engage student, alumni, administrator, staff and faculty representatives directly in the search.
In previous searches, the Board of Trustees sought exclusively or initially for a Jesuit. Given the search experience of many of our sister Jesuit institutions, the Board has decided that this search will be open to all. We will, of course, encourage qualified Jesuits to apply.
After evaluating several nationally recognized firms, the University has secured the services of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, LP, which specializes in executive recruitment for universities and colleges, to assist the search. Anne Coyle, Partner, will be working directly with the search committee. She and her colleagues at Storbeck/Pimentel have extensive experience assisting searches for senior leadership positions, including presidents, at Catholic and Jesuit institutions.
The Board has decided to establish a broadly representative search committee to advise the process. I am pleased to report that my fellow trustee Philip Judge, S.J. has agreed to serve as chair. Father Judge has had a distinguished career in Jesuit education that includes a decade of service as president of Regis High School. He is currently the Assistant for Strategic Planning for the Provincial of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus.
The Presidential Search Committee consists of 16 members chosen as outlined below. I have already appointed those members that fall within the purview of the Board.
Six members of the Board of Trustees appointed by the Chair of the Board in consultation with the Executive Committee.
- Philip Judge, S.J., Chair
- Jacquelyn Dionne ’89
- Christopher Kane ’86
- Herbert Keller, S.J.
- Lawrence Lynch ’81
- James Slattery ’86
One full-time faculty member elected by and from each of the colleges with their own academic departments and one additional full-time faculty member elected at large. The manner of election is to be determined by the Faculty Senate. Representatives pending.
One University administrator appointed by the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
- Edward J. Steinmetz ’81
One University graduate designated by the President of the Alumni Society Advisory Board. Representative pending.
Two members of the University staff selected in a manner to be determined by the Staff Senate. Representatives pending.
Two students selected in a manner to be determined by the Student Senate.
David Bigley ’17
Bridget Fasciani ’18
Last week, I met with the University Governance Council to discuss the framework for the search and the constituency representation with the leaders of the Faculty, Staff and Student senates. At the meeting some members shared with me their concern about the “confidential search” approach. The trustees, in consultation with the search firm, considered this issue carefully in establishing the parameters for the search. For the reasons below, the trustees believe that a confidential search will provide the University the strongest candidate pool from which to identify finalists.
Confidentiality is an increasingly important consideration in presidential searches, especially those at private colleges and universities. The best candidates holding senior leadership positions, including presidents, tend to be reluctant to participate in searches unless they can be assured that their candidacy will not jeopardize their present circumstances. Additionally, announcing finalists through open campus fora reveals their identity to other institutions with whom we may be competing.
Based upon its own expertise and the advice and experience of our search counsel, the Board has decided to conduct a confidential search. Members of the search committee will be engaged throughout the process in screening, interviewing, vetting and identifying finalists for consideration by the Board. Given the confidential nature of the search, it is critical that we respect the wisdom and judgements of our constituent representatives with regard to the candidates they will ultimately recommend to the full Board of Trustees for its consideration.
Father Judge will be writing to the University Community shortly with additional information about the early stages of the search, including plans for campus-wide consultation facilitated by our search firm partner. He will also be providing future updates on the search as it progresses.
The members of the Board have great enthusiasm as we begin this important process. We are blessed to serve a marvelous University and to share in that service with faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends who share our love and devotion.
Lawrence R. Lynch, ’81
Chair, Board of Trustees