Search for the 26th President

The University of Scranton
Presidential Search Committee Charter

Purpose:

In accord with one of its most important functions, the Board of Trustees shall establish a Presidential Search Committee as needed for the purpose of conducting a search for the President of The University of Scranton. The committee will remain active for the duration of the search, and be dissolved upon successful completion of the search. The Board of Trustees retains the responsibility and authority to appoint the president. The committee will, therefore, serve in an advisory capacity to the Board of Trustees. The Board reserves the right to amend this charter.

Organization:

This charter shall be reviewed and reassessed by the Board of Trustees in advance of and at the conclusion of a presidential search.

Membership:

The committee shall consist of 16 members chosen as follows:

  • Six members of the Board of Trustees appointed by the Chair of the Board in consultation with the Executive Committee. At least one of the six trustee members should be a member of the Society of Jesus.
  • One University administrator appointed by the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
  • One University graduate designated by the President of the Alumni Society Advisory Board.
  • 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.
  • Two members of the University staff selected in a manner to be determined by the Staff Senate.
  • Two students selected in a manner to be determined by the Student Senate.

Search Committee Chair:

The Chair of the Board will select the Chair of the Presidential Search Committee (“the Search Chair”) from among the six members of the Board of Trustees appointed to serve on the committee.

Search Consultant:

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees shall determine whether or not to engage a search consultant/firm to advise and support the search process and Presidential Search Committee.

Staff Designee:

The Administrative Assistant to the Board of Trustees and the search consultant/firm, if applicable, w

Meetings:

The committee shall meet for a duration and at a frequency needed to complete its work successfully. A majority of the members of the committee shall constitute a quorum. The Search Chair shall be responsible for establishing the agendas for meetings.

Reports to and Engagement of the Board of Trustees

The Search Chair shall ensure that the Board is informed of the status of the committee’s work. The Search Chair shall also serve as the conduit through which the Board of Trustees responds to questions or provides advice and direction to the committee.

Reports to the University Community

The Search Chair will communicate appropriate progress reports to University constituencies. The Search Chair will be the official and only spokesperson for the Search Committee.

Committee Responsibilities:

The committee shall undertake the following responsibilities, which are set forth as a guide. The committee is authorized to carry out these activities and other actions reasonably related to the committee’s purposes. To fulfill its purposes, the committee shall:

  • Abide by the Search Committee Operating Principles as defined below with special attention to confidentiality to protect the best interests of the position candidates and The University of Scranton.
  • Seek input from The University of Scranton community about the following:
    • characteristics for the next president (e.g. attributes, skills, and vision that Scranton’s next President should possess); and
    • challenges facing the next president (i.e. short- and long-term challenges the University’s next President is likely to face, including an understanding of the challenges, opportunities and overall climate of higher education, and the University’s relative competitive position in this regard).
  • Informed by campus consultation and assisted by a search consultant/firm, if applicable, develop a job profile and description. The search is open to all, and qualified Jesuits are encouraged to apply.
  • Engage in a thorough and professional process to screen, interview, vet, and evaluate candidates to identify one to four finalists.
  • Summarize all feedback and present finalists to the Board of Trustees for consideration.

Search Committee Operating Principles:

While members bring the perspective of a particular constituency within the University community, they are not explicitly representatives of those groups or bodies and each member’s duty is to consider the best interests of The University of Scranton as a whole. Members are expected to exercise their independent judgment to seek the best candidate for the position. Among the many familiar expectations of each member, the following principles require extra emphasis:

  1. Absolute Confidentiality

    Confidentiality is mandatory, with respect to candidates, committee work, deliberations and all documentation during and after the search process. Members need to understand fully what this means, and if there is any doubt at any time about what is permissible; members should speak with the Search Chair before acting.
  2. Due Diligence and Reference Checking

    Reference-checking and complete and thorough due diligence can and will be planned and executed systematically and professionally at the appropriate time. Members are to refrain from unauthorized or informal reference-checking/due diligence, unless they are specifically assigned the task by the Search Committee.
  3. Value-Added Constructive Interventions

    Members will be expected to add value to the committee deliberations through constructive interventions and clarification, while taking care not to exert undue influence and/or dominate proceedings.
  4. Full Engagement by each Member at all Stages

    It is proven that the ultimate success of search committees depends a great deal on the degree to which individual members are engaged in each stage of the process. It is critically important that each member be fully engaged in the fair, objective, and comprehensive assessment of each candidate. Attendance at all meetings is expected, unless dire circumstances prevent it.
  5. Role of the Search Consultant (if applicable)

    The role of the search consultant is to bring professional expertise, higher education connections, and best practices to the search process. Support or advice from a search consultant/firm does not diffuse the responsibility and accountability of the committee members to recommend one to four finalists. A search consult/firm is also subject to the Search Committee Operating Principles.
  6. After the Search

    Members of the Presidential Search Committee collectively and individually play a vital role in ensuring the President’s success. Members are expected to provide direct and indirect support to the new President and to serve as ambassadors for the new President both within the University community and beyond.