Update on the Presidential Search
Dear St. Thomas Community,
As Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, I write to provide an update about the search for the 16th President of the University of St. Thomas. This is an exciting and pivotal time for St. Thomas. I assure you that all members of the Search Committee understand the importance of the task that we have been entrusted to undertake on behalf of the university community.
After developing the search website and producing the St. Thomas Leadership profile as a recruitment tool, based in large part on the initial feedback from the community, we spent the summer recruiting a very competitive slate of candidates. Throughout this national recruitment, we heard very positive feedback about the reputation of St. Thomas as an innovative institution with an upward trajectory.
The Search Committee has been meeting in earnest since June and is now in the midst of the candidate interview process. We are on track with the timeline laid out last Spring: to recruit over the summer, interview in late fall, and recommend finalists to the Board of Trustees for a final vote by the end of the year or early January.
It's important to note that all private university presidential searches are highly confidential and therefore the process does not allow for public forums with the finalists as we experience in dean and provost searches. There will, however, be a group of faculty leaders, senior staff and our student advisory group, who will meet with the finalists and provide another level of feedback to the Board of Trustees.
I want to recognize members of the Search Committee for their long hours of work dedicated to this process. The committee includes eight very engaged trustees (Fr. Monk Molloy (Search Committee Vice Chair), Sr. Mary Haddad, Jodee Kozlak, Board Chair Pat Ryan, Jim Kolar, Dr. Penny Wheeler and Mark Zesbaugh) as well as three very impressive faculty members in Dr. Angela High-Pippert, Dr. Tanya Gladney and Dr. Christopher Michaelson. The three wonderful staff members on the committee include Jemal Griffin, associate director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Linda Baughman, dean of students and Dr. Sheneeta White, associate dean of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. This is a highly effective team that asks good questions, probes deeply and represents the community well.
I want especially to thank those of you who participated in one of the listening sessions or took our survey. Your feedback on the qualities that the community seeks in the next president of St. Thomas has guided the committee in our work. In these sessions with faculty, adjunct faculty, staff council, staff at large, alumni, and our student advisory group, we heard feedback that includes:
- You want a caring, genuine and relational president who is accessible to faculty, staff and students.
- You want a bold leader who will continue the St. Thomas trajectory – no standing still.
- DEI is of utmost importance to the community and the community needs someone with demonstrated experience leading on DEI.
- You believe in strong faculty shared governance and want a president who understands its importance.
- You want a leader who understands the important voice of adjunct faculty as well.
- You want a collaborative, inspirational, balanced leader who can take in the chaos and reflect back calm.
- You want a leader who understands the current morale issues faced by faculty and staff in the aftermath of COVID, during budget restraints, while dealing with increasingly demanding student needs.
- You are dedicated to our students and their success and want a president who understands the student experience and the importance of developing holistic leaders inside and outside the classroom.
- You want someone who can articulate our Catholic mission, the Catholic intellectual tradition and Catholic Social Teaching.
- You understand the importance of fundraising and want someone who can represent the university community outside the walls of the university and elevate our presence regionally and nationally.
- You are dedicated to the success of St. Thomas and hopeful and positive about its future. You want a leaders who can expand the reach of St. Thomas' common good impact.
Thank you for your continued engagement and interest. If you have questions about the search process, you can respond to this email and we will get back to you.
Amy Goldman, CEO, GHR Foundation
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
October 27, 2022