What is the process and how was the Presidential Search Committee formed?
According to the bylaws of the college, a committee selected by the Chair of the Board, Ann Catino, Esq. ’82, and the Chair of the Members, Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. ’71, shall work together to establish the process and qualifications under which a President shall be selected and thereafter presented to and approved by the Board of Trustees and appointed by the Chair of the Members. While the most recent proposed revisions to the bylaws have not been formally adopted in accordance with the procedures of the current bylaws, the formation of the committee was consistent with those revisions which included adding two faculty members who were proposed by the faculty.
The final committee is comprised of 13 individuals selected to represent various constituencies including administration, alumni, faculty, lay trustees, monastery, and students. It should also be noted that a number of the members cross several college constituencies. The committee is co-chaired by Vice Chair of the Board Geraldine DeLuca ’77 and Board of Trustee Charlie Crowley ’81. Refer to the bottom of FAQs for a full list of members.
Who is Isaacson, Miller?
Founded in 1982, Isaacson, Miller is a national executive search firm devoted to recruiting leaders for mission-driven organizations. They are dedicated to the full range of public and civic missions and have active practices in higher education, science and social science research, human services, conservation and environmental defense, human and civil rights advocacy, K-12 education, academic and community healthcare, philanthropy, arts and culture, and community-based economic development with sub-specialties in almost every functional area. The firm has the nation’s largest and most diverse practice in higher education. The firm has completed over 120 presidential searches since 2013.
The individuals working with us, Jackie Mildner, Leslie McCarthy and Katherine Stellato, have extensive experience with Catholic and liberal arts institutions of higher education and have been involved in presidential searches for Bowdoin College, Bellarmine University, Emory & Henry College, Georgian Court University, Knox College, Lawrence University, Loyola University of Chicago, Monmouth University, Mount Saint Mary College, Saint Anselm College, Salve Regina University, Smith College, University of Dayton, and the University of Rhode Island.
The Isaacson, Miller team will assist the committee with their expertise, market knowledge, contacts and deep network. Prior to the Christmas break, the team conducted scoping sessions (individual and group) with constituents across the campus; in addition, they opened a survey for all campus constituents. The feedback was then synthesized into a position profile which was reviewed and edited by the search committee and ultimately approved. The profile will be the basis for conducting a national search.
How will the search be conducted?
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the search committee to develop the process and qualifications for the search. They are responsible for interviewing and assessing the candidates, and ultimately, recommending a candidate to the Chair of the Members for him to submit to the Board of Trustees for review and approval. The committee will meet several times over the next several months to narrow down the initial group of applicants to determine the final candidates. At that point, there are typically three processes that colleges use to evaluate the final slate of candidates: Open, closed and hybrid.
- Open- An open search means the names of the finalists are public knowledge. Final candidates meet with individuals, as well as participate in open group forums, across campus. While providing greater interaction between the campus and candidates, the concern with this method is that it can seriously limit the pool of qualified individuals as it exposes candidates who are currently in senior positions at other institutions (President, Provost, Dean, Vice President of capital campaign/enrollment/etc.) who may not want their employer to know they are exploring other opportunities. Being part of an open search process can jeopardize their current positions, put their institutions at risk, and ultimately impact their colleagues and families. There have been recent examples of individuals who have been terminated once it became known they were applying for other positions.
- Closed- In a closed search, only the search committee interviews the finalists. While this approach minimizes the candidate’s public exposure, the committee felt that it was too limiting as it does not provide others on campus the ability to evaluate the candidates, nor does it allow the candidates to have broader exposure to the various campus constituencies.
- Hybrid- This is the process that the committee has voted to undertake. In a hybrid search, the committee invites a select group of individuals representing several campus constituencies to be part of the interview process with the final candidates. This method opens up the interview process to broader campus representation. In addition, it provides the candidate an opportunity to meet more of the community. It also protects the privacy of the finalists and limits their exposure so that their names will not become public. In Isaacson, Miller’s experience, searches are more frequently being conducted using this method as it provides the broadest reach, serves to protect the candidates and attracts more qualified individuals who would not commit to being a candidate in a search using an open process.
How will the search be expanded as part of the hybrid process?
The members of the hybrid group will be determined at a later date by the Presidential Search Committee. It will be comprised of a select group of representatives from the various campus constituencies. With regards to faculty representation, while the most recent proposed revisions to the bylaws have not been formally adopted in accordance with the procedures of the current bylaws, it is the committee’s intent to have a process that works under the existing bylaws as well as being consistent with the proposed changes with regard to the hiring of a new president. It is the committee’s intent to include among the members of the hybrid interview group additional members from the faculty/Faculty Senate in a manner appropriate to this hybrid search.
The group will meet with the final candidates, separate from the search committee, at an offsite location and will submit their feedback directly to Isaacson, Miller, who will review the results with the search committee. Like the search committee, the group will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement which serves to protect both Saint Anselm College and the candidates.
How will the President be selected?
The committee’s recommended candidate will be submitted to the Chair of the Members. If acceptable, the Chair of the Members will submit the candidate to the Board of Trustees for its review and approval. Upon approval, the Chair of the Members shall appoint the President of the College.
What are the next steps?
Thank you to all who participated in the scoping sessions and survey. In late January, Isaacson, Miller will post the profile and begin their national search. As mentioned earlier, the committee will meet several times over the next few months to evaluate candidates. While it cannot be guaranteed, the goal is to present a final candidate to the Board of Trustees by late spring. The committee will post short updates to the college website as appropriate.
Presidential Search Committee Members
Ann M. Catino, Esq. ’82
Chair of the Board of Trustees/Partner, Halloran Sage LLP
Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B. ’71
Chancellor of the College/Chair of the Members of the Saint Anselm College Corporation
Linda Connly ’87
Trustee/Parent/The Connly Advisory Group (retired)/SVP Dell EMC Global Center of Competency
Charles A. Crowley ’81
Trustee/Managing Director for Wells Fargo Securities
Geraldine DeLuca ’77
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees/Human Resources Consultant
Kevin Fitzgerald ’00
Trustee/ Director & Head of Eastern Region Corporate Sales, Blackrock
Father John Fortin, O.S.B. ’71
Member/Trustee/Professor of Philosophy
Associate Dean of the College/NECHE Chair/Associate Professor, Politics
Ed Hjerpe ’81
Alumnus/Past Chair of the Board of Trustees/ President and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston
Nicole Lora ’06
Campus Staff/Associate Director of the Meelia Center
Kerrin Norton ’19
Student, English Major/Chief of Staff for Student Government Association
Faculty Selection/Professor and Department Chair, Psychology
Joseph Pepe, M.D. ’83
Trustee/CEO at Catholic Medical Center and GraniteOne Health
Father Benet Phillips, O.S.B. ’87
Member/Trustee/Assistant Dean of Freshman and Director, Academic Advisement
Faculty Selection/Associate Professor and Department Chair, Mathematics