A message from Lynda Ellis, Chair of the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees, and Mickey Schott, Chair of the Presidential Nominating Committee:

Academic Search has been accepting nominations and applications for the St. Mary’s President’s position since July 10, 2023, while actively recruiting qualified candidates. In September, the Nominating Committee reviewed résumés and cover letters from candidates nationwide. The pool was strong and ranged from sitting presidents, provosts, deans and others in top higher education positions. The quality of the candidate pool confirmed St. Mary’s is an attractive institution with a solid academic reputation and Catholic mission.

In early October, the Nominating Committee met with their top candidates over two days and narrowed the pool to finalists. The Executive Committee of the Board approved conducting a “private-representative” process for finalist candidate interviews, which will occur in November off-campus. Candidates will interview with the Presidential Nominating Committee, members of the Board of Trustees and several individuals representing these St. Mary’s community groups — alumni/major donors, faculty, students, administration, staff, Marianists and Marianist Educational Associates.

Recruiting the best and most experienced candidates requires a confidential and transparent process. This approach balances candidate expectations around confidentiality with the need for various community groups to engage with and provide insights about the finalists. The Presidential Nominating Committee will include feedback from the representative groups in its report to the Executive Committee of the Board for review. The Board of Trustees appoints the President.

The search process is moving forward as planned, and we expect to be able to announce the new President’s appointment by the end of 2023, with a starting date of June 1, 2024. Again, the early announcement provides time for transitioning the new President into the position before President Tom Mengler retires from the University on May 31, 2024.

Early in the spring semester, we will provide opportunities for everyone in our St. Mary’s family to meet the President-to-be.

Please join us in expressing appreciation to the Presidential Nominating Committee members for their commitment to this important search process.

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