Update on the Search for the next President of Saint Mary’s College - August 17, 2015

Dear Members of the Saint Mary’s Community:

I am pleased to provide you with the first update on the search for the next President of Saint Mary’s College. Given the importance of the presidential search to the future of Saint Mary’s College and the College community’s interest in the search, we will provide the community with regular updates throughout the search process.

Academic Search, a higher education consulting firm that for 40 years has conducted searches for Presidents and senior administrators, is assisting the Presidential Search Committee. Senior consultants Dr. Andrea Warren Hamos and Maya Ranchod Kirkhope will facilitate this search for the College. They will provide counsel for the Committee’s work throughout the course of the search, outline critical next steps, work with the Search Committee to develop the key criteria required for the position, and utilize the firm’s extensive network to solicit nominations and recommendations for the position.

The Presidential Search Committee, consisting of representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, alumnae and students, will be finalized after the beginning of the academic year. I have been asked by Board Chair Mary Burke to chair the Committee.

Be assured that there will be numerous opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and alumnae to participate in the search process. The first such opportunity will be September 8-10, 2015. Dr. Hamos and Ms. Kirkhope will be on campus to meet with members of the campus community as well as with the Presidential Search Committee. Susan Dampeer, Special Assistant to the President, and Vicki Briggs, Secretary to the President, have been appointed as coordinators for the search, and are providing administrative support for this pre-search visit. We have developed an inclusive schedule that invites participation across a wide spectrum of the campus community. The schedule, which will be shared very soon, includes opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumnae, trustees and administrators to talk with the search consultants. We look forward to your participation, as we know you can provide helpful the opportunities for our next President. We thank you in advance for your contribution.

To help focus these conversations, the search consultants ask that you consider the questions listed below:

  • What do you believe are the core values and characteristics of Saint Mary’s College?
  • The President embodies the aspirations of this College and the vision for its future. What should these be?
  • How do you see the College changing over the next 7 – 10 years?
  • What are the greatest strengths of the College?
  • What are the most immediate challenges that the next President will confront?
  • What do you believe are the most fundamental characteristics, competencies and experiences that should be embodied in the next President?
  • What would ensure the success of the next President?

Based on their research and conversations and in consultation with the Presidential Search Committee, Dr. Hamos and Ms. Kirkhope will prepare a written profile describing the key institutional needs and priorities, and a related set of desired characteristics and talents for our next President. Once finalized, the document will be made available to the campus community.

If you are unable to attend the campus meetings, we encourage you to send an email to Dr. Hamos atawh@academic-search.com or Ms. Kirkhope at mrk@academic-search.com.

If you have any questions or comments at this early stage or at any time during the process, please reach out to the search consultants or to me.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Elizabeth R. Culligan 
Chair of the Search Committee and Member of the Board of Trustees