Presidential Search Update
Ross A. Mauri ’80, Chair of the Board of Trustees, updates the College community about the search for Marist’s next president.
December 1, 2020—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 webpage (www.marist.edu/presidential-search/committee). 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.