Campus Communications

Presidential Search Update From Board Chair Ross Mauri '80, September 10, 2020




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.


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 goal 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.


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