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Trustees Meet to Discuss Finalists in Presidential Search

Posted: April 28, 2013

The Saint Anselm College Board of Trustees met Saturday, April 27, to discuss the merits of the two distinguished finalists for president of the college.

Following the process established for the presidential search, the trustees, and Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., discussed the qualifications of the candidates, input from references, as well as the feedback from the Saint Anselm community members who met with the finalists during campus sessions held earlier this month. Abbot Mark then presented to the board the name of his nominee for president and the trustees voted to ratify that selection by an overwhelming majority. The name of the selection for president will be released as soon as he accepts the offer and a basic agreement has been established. "We expect to move with deliberation so that an announcement can be made at the earliest possibility," said Abbot Mark, chancellor of the college, and Charles Pollard, chair of the board of trustees.

The naming of a new president for Saint Anselm College will end a nine-month search to succeed Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., who announced in September 2012 that he would retire after 24 years as president, sometime following the close of the academic year.

"We were greatly impressed with both of the candidates advanced by the Search Committee," Abbot Mark and Chuck Pollard said. "We believe the candidate ultimately selected has the experience and qualifications that best suit Saint Anselm College at this time."

Finalists Selected

Posted: April 5, 2013

We're happy to provide this update on the progress of the Saint Anselm College Presidential Search.  When the Trustees last met in February, the Search Committee had just completed its review of the applications and nominations for the position received by Isaacson Miller.

We were blessed with an excellent and diverse pool of candidates, which is a testament to the high regard many have for Saint Anselm College!  Based on the Search Committee's review and deep discussions, the field was narrowed from approximately 50 potential candidates to seven candidates. Those candidates were invited to participate in off-campus, confidential interviews on March 22nd and 23rd.

During those two days, each candidate provided the Search Committee with insight and perspective regarding leadership and management style, experience, unique capabilities, personality and character.  The Search Committee discussed the merits of each candidate and identified finalists who will proceed to on-campus interviews.

The next steps in the search process are as follows:

  • Interviews will be scheduled on campus for mid-April and will include sessions for trustees, the monastic community, faculty, administration, staff, students, alumni and others.  A schedule will be published as soon as the finalists confirm their availability, and brief bios of the finalists will be available on the Saint Anselm website mid-week next week. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on each finalist using a standard process provided by Isaacson Miller. Isaacson Miller will complete detailed reference checks of each finalist.
  • The full Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting in late April to receive a briefing on each finalist by the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Chairs of the Search Committee, including the feedback from the campus sessions. The Board will then discuss the candidates, without taking a vote, in order to assist the Abbot/Chair of the Members in presenting a candidate for President to the Board of Trustees.  
  • Following that discussion, the Abbot/Chair of the Members will make his selection and will ask the Board to approve the appointment of the candidate.
  • Following the meeting, the approved nominee will be offered the position of President of Saint Anselm College.  Upon acceptance by the candidate, plans will begin for a transition to take place in the summer of 2013.

At this point, the Search Committee's work is essentially complete, with the exception of the co-chairs.  We can't thank the members enough for their outstanding commitment and contributions to this effort - this has been a rewarding experience for all involved!  The diversity of the committee -- life experience, profession/vocation, constituency representation, critical thinking and communication style -- produced a wonderful richness you would want on any team. When it came time for each member to put on his/her "college hat" and make difficult decisions, each did so with the respect, care and empathy that uniquely embodies everything we hold dear at Saint Anselm College.

We look forward to the next steps described above and are confident they will be completed with the same spirit, enthusiasm, and engagement.

The Invitation to Apply

Posted: November 29, 2012

Saint Anselm College invites nominations and applications for the position of President. Founded in 1889 by the oldest religious order in the Catholic Church, the Benedictines, Saint Anselm College is a four-year Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institution dedicated to providing students with a liberal arts education that incorporates opportunities for professional and career preparation. As a learning community, the College encourages the lifelong pursuit of truth and fosters students' intellectual, moral and spiritual growth, and seeks to enrich its graduates' personal lives, work and engagement within their local, national and global communities.

Search underway for new Saint Anselm president

Posted: October 18, 2012

The search for a new president for Saint Anselm College is underway, with the naming of a search committee and recruitment of a search firm.

Trustees Joanne Pietrini Smith '85 and Rich Meelia '71 are co-chairing the 13-member search committee, which includes representatives of the faculty, staff, monastery, alumni, student body and Board of Trustees.

The committee is being assisted by Isaacson Miller, a firm with extensive experience in recruiting presidents, provosts and senior leaders for higher education.

Representatives of the search firm are conducting a series of meetings with faculty, staff, student leaders, alumni, the monastic community and trustees. They are gathering information about the traits and qualities required of the next Saint Anselm president, as well as the college's challenges and advantages.

The committee will identify qualified candidates and submit their names to the board of trustees for final selection by early spring. 

The list of the search committee members and of meetings scheduled so far with Isaacson Miller are posted on the presidential search website, which will be updated from time to time with new information on the search.

Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., announced Sept. 4 that he would retire at the end of the academic year, after 24 years as president of Saint Anselm College. Selecting his replacement "is an important undertaking that touches all aspects of the college community - both on and off campus," Pietrini Smith and Meelia said in an email to the college community.

"We want to provide regular updates as this important event in the College's history unfolds.  At the same time, candidates will expect a high degree of confidentiality throughout the process.  To ensure as much transparency as possible, while preserving the integrity of the process, information will be available on the Saint Anselm College website and we will provide periodic updates through email."

Group Meetings with Search Firm Representatives

Posted: October 18, 2012

October 11

  • Hourly staff
  • Administrative staff

October 18

  • Student representatives from each class
    5 to 6 p.m.
    Dana Classroom 4D

October 19

  • Board of Trustees
  • Faculty
    2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
    Goulet Science Center, Perini Lecture Hall 

November 2

  • Students, faculty and staff
    Open Meeting
    2:30 to 3:45 p.m.
    Cushing Center, North Lounge

November 6

  • Monastic Chapter
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