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April 15, 2021 Memo to the Marist Community from Board Chair Ross Mauri

I am writing to provide the College community with an update on our ongoing search for Marist’s next president.  In so doing, let me first acknowledge the 21 other members of the Marist Presidential Search Committee who continue to give so generously of their time and insights.  The Committee has met throughout the winter and early spring, and I have been delighted by the enthusiasm and collegiality members bring to our work together.

This spring, the Committee is broadening its search, and will continue to consider additional candidates over the next few months.  To assist in its work, the Board has engaged an executive search team from Isaacson, Miller to partner with the Committee on the ongoing solicitation, recruitment, and vetting of a diverse pool of highly-qualified candidates. 

The Isaacson, Miller team will be led by partner Kate Barry, whose practice focuses on higher education leadership positions, with a specific focus on presidential searches.  Kate’s recent presidential searches include those for Purchase College (SUNY), Washington University in St. Louis, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Union College, and the University of New Hampshire. In the last few years, Kate has also led academic leadership searches (provost and/or dean) for Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Grinnell College, New York University, Sacred Heart University, Tulane University, University of Chicago, and University of Georgia.

I will continue to keep the Marist community informed about the Presidential Search Committee’s work, and will plan to send out an update on our progress by the end of the spring 2021 term. 


December 1, 2020 Memo to the Marist Community From Board Chair Ross Mauri

As we conclude the fall 2020 semester and prepare for the winter break, I’d like to provide the College community with an update on our search for Marist’s fifth president.  To recap our work thus far, let me summarize a few past and upcoming milestones:

Search firm selection

The first important task undertaken by the Board was the selection of a search firm to partner with the Presidential Search Committee in the active solicitation, recruitment, and vetting of candidates.  I established a small subcommittee to participate in this selection process, including the elected chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) and several Board members with experience working with search consultants.  We sent out a request for proposals and received responses from many excellent firms.  Based on the subcommittee’s recommendation, the Board ultimately engaged Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA), an international leader in the executive recruitment field with a robust education practice.

Search committee composition

The Board asked me to establish a Presidential Search Committee that appropriately represented Marist’s many important stakeholder groups.  Additional information about the members of this talented and diverse 22-member committee can be found on the presidential search committee webpage.

I’m proud that our Search Committee includes academic leaders from across campus, including four tenured faculty members and a school dean.  We also appointed to the Committee the elected president of the Alumni Association, who also occupies an ex officio voting seat on the Board, and the elected Student Government Association president.  In addition, we invited three long-serving administrators with a combined 65 years of service to the College.  The Board of Trustees is represented by three past Board Chairs, the former U.S. Provincial for the Marist Brothers, business and community leaders, and a faculty member from Harvard University who is a nationally recognized expert on higher education. 

Ten Presidential Search Committee members are Marist alumni, and several of us are also the parents of proud Marist alumni.  While we represent a variety of backgrounds and opinions, we are united by an abiding love for the College, mutual respect, and a dedication to this search. 

Listening sessions and position profile

Throughout the fall, we conducted a total of 14 listening sessions with Marist stakeholders, including faculty, students, staff, alumni, members of the Board of Trustees, parents, Marist Brothers, and community leaders.  In addition, more than 1,100 people completed the survey soliciting feedback on the experiences, qualities, and abilities they sought in the College’s next president.  Many thoughtful comments were also received via the “contact us” feature on the presidential search webpage.  We are immensely grateful to the community for the valuable insights shared with the Committee through these different venues.

Several key themes emerged over the course of these conversations, and this information was integral to the Committee’s drafting of the position profile.  This profile is also available on the presidential search webpage and is being utilized by Russell Reynolds in their candidate recruitment process.

Solicitation of applications and nominations and next steps

Working with RRA, the Committee is developing a robust pool of diverse and qualified candidates.  Members of the Marist community are also encouraged to suggest names or make formal nominations.  This recruitment period will continue through the early part of 2021, at which point candidates will be invited to participate in first-round interviews.  We anticipate that the Presidential Search Committee will make its final recommendation to the Board in the spring semester, to keep to our original timeline of having a new president in place by July of 2021.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to extend the College’s sincere thanks to the Presidential Search Committee members for the time they have already devoted to this process, and for their continued efforts over the coming months.  We will continue to keep the Marist community apprised of our progress through frequent updates, all of which will be archived on the presidential search website. 

My best wishes to you and your families for a happy, safe, and healthy holiday season.


September 10, 2020 Memo to the Community from Board Chair Ross Mauri

I am writing to provide the Marist community with a number of updates on the search for President Dennis J. Murray’s successor.  First and foremost, I would like to express the Board’s sincere appreciation to Dennis for the leadership and vision he provided the College during his first 37 years in this role, as well as the stability and continuity he has given us during this critical transitional period.  While none of us could have anticipated the unique challenges our community had to confront this past year, we are all immensely grateful to have had Dennis at the helm.

Presidential Search Committee

The Board takes very seriously its obligation to select Marist’s next president, and is committed to conducting a national search in order to recruit a diverse and highly qualified candidate pool.  Trustees are ultimately responsible for making this appointment, but we will need the wisdom and engagement of the entire campus community to ensure that this process is a success.  To that end, I am pleased to announce that the Board has invited 21 members of the Marist community to join me in conducting the search for the College’s fifth president.  The individuals making up this talented group represent a variety of institutional perspectives.  While they come from different personal and professional backgrounds, they all share a deep commitment to Marist and a willingness to invest the time and energy necessary to find and recruit the College’s next leader.  Let me be the first among us to thank them for their service.

Chairing the Committee

  • Mr. Ross A. Mauri ’80/P’15 – General Manager IBM Z, IBM Corporation and Chair of the Marist College Board of Trustees

From the Board of Trustees

  • Mr. Neil Bender P’18 – President, William Gottlieb Real Estate
  • Mr. James A. Cannavino – Senior Vice President, IBM Corporation (retired)
  • Mr. Robert R. Dyson – Chairman and CEO, The Dyson Kissner Moran Corporation
  • Mrs. Ellen M. Hancock – Immediate Past Chair of the Marist College Board of Trustees
  • Dr. James P. Honan ’78 – Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard University
  • Bro. John Klein ’70, FMS – Former Provincial of the Province of the United States, Marist Brothers
  • Mr. Christopher G. McCann ’83 – President and CEO, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM
  • Mrs. Genine McCormick ’88/P’16 – Certified Public Accountant
  • Mr. Alvin A. Patrick, Jr. ’86 – Executive Producer, CBS News
  • Mr. Jerome A. Pickett ’98 – Executive Vice President & Chief Security Officer, National Basketball Association
  • Mr. Robert Shanahan ’83 – Former President and CEO, Lightower Fiber Networks

From the Faculty

  • Dr. Sally Dwyer-McNulty – Professor of History and Director of the Core/Liberal Studies program
  • Dr. Pamela J. Harper – Associate Professor of Marketing
  • Dr. Eitel J.M. Lauría – Professor of Information Technology & Systems and Director of Graduate Programs
  • Dr. Julie B. Raines – Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Chair of the Faculty Affairs Committee

From the Deans’ Council

  • Dr. Alicia Slater – Dean of the School of Science

From the Administration

  • Mr. Sean P. Kaylor ’90 – Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Communication
  • Mr. John Pecchia – Vice President for Business Affairs/CFO
  • Ms. Iris Ruiz-Grech P’17/P’19 – Director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs/HEOP/Campus Liaison Foster Youth College Success Initiative (FYCSI)

From the Student Government Association

  • Ms. Roda Mohamed ’21 – President of the Student Body

From the Alumni Association

  • Mrs. Eileen Altobelli ’82 – President of the Marist College Alumni Executive Board and Alumni Representative to the Marist College Board of Trustees

You can learn more about this outstanding group by visiting the Presidential Search Committee webpage.

Executive Search Firm

Following a request for proposals and very competitive interview process, the Board has selected of Russell Reynolds Associates (RRA) to assist the Presidential Search Committee in its work.  Founded in 1969, RRA quickly became an international leader in the executive recruitment field, leading searches across both the private and public sectors. With more than 50 years of experience and upwards of 400 consultants in 46 offices around the world, the firm completes more than 4,000 engagements annually, and has a nationally regarded Education Practice.to assist

Anne Coyle is a member of the firm’s Nonprofit Sector, where she specializes in the Higher Education Practice.  With more than 15 years of experience working in executive search for nonprofit organizations and more than a decade focused on higher education in particular, she is a trusted client advisor, helping guide colleges and universities as they seek senior academic and functional leaders.  Anne specializes in president searches at private colleges and universities.  She has placed presidents at DePauw University, Gettysburg College, and many other institutions.  Anne received her BA in biological anthropology from Harvard College and her Master of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Jett Pihakis is a member of RRA’s Nonprofit Sector and Education Practice, and has led the Higher Education group since 2018. He focuses on identifying senior academic and administrative leaders within colleges and universities. Based in the Washington, D.C. office, Jett is also an active member of the firm’s Diversity Practice and Information Officers Practice.  He has placed presidents at Carnegie Mellon University, Fairfield University, Kent State University, and the University of Delaware, among others.  Jett received his B.A., summa cum laude, with high honors in psychology from Vanderbilt University and his Ph.D. in education administration and policy analysis with a focus in higher education from Stanford University.

We look forward to partnering with Anne and Jett on this important work, and to introducing them to members of the campus community.

An Inclusive Process

In the coming months, the Presidential Search Committee will solicit input from key constituencies on the qualities, characteristics, and competencies we are looking for in the College’s next president, as well as the challenges and opportunities he or she will face.  Members of the Search Committee will host a series of listening sessions and one-on-one conversations with various stakeholder groups in order to ensure that our process is as engaging and inclusive as possible.  In addition, the committee invites comments, recommendations, and confidential feedback from all members of the Marist community through the Marist Presidential Search Website.

Next Steps

The Presidential Search Committee will convene in the coming weeks and begin to solicit the input of the campus community.  Once this engagement process has been completed, the Committee will draft a position specification, which will summarize Marist’s mission, history, and accomplishments; provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities the College will face in the future; and describe the skills and experiences Marist seeks in its next president.

We hope to begin recruitment efforts this fall, with interviews to take place over the winter and finalist candidates presented to the full Board for consideration and final decision this spring.  It is our hope to have our new president in place no later than July 1, 2021.

The Presidential Search Committee will continue to keep the campus community informed of its progress through frequent updates, all of which will be archived on the Marist Presidential Search Website.  I want to remind faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends of the College how critical your participation will be in the selection and appointment of our next president.  I thank you for your continued interest and involvement, and hope to have the opportunity to engage with you at an upcoming listening session.