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Presidential Search

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The Search for Misericordia University's 15th President

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September 1, 2020

To the Misericordia University community: 

I am pleased to announce that the search for the 15th President of Misericordia University begins officially today.  This presidential search is of critical importance to the future of our University.

Under the leadership of President Botzman, along with the creative collaboration of the entire Misericordia community, we have made significant progress during the last few years on many fronts. We have continued to build on our strong tradition of academic excellence, expanding undergraduate research opportunities as well as developing new programs and reinforcing others.  Our student retention remains strong. We have added a satellite campus in Pittsburgh to address the need for nursing education.  As we near the completion of our state-of-the-art Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Center, we prepare for the future with the acquisition of available adjacent properties that expand our campus footprint and provide opportunities for strategic enhancement in the coming years.  We remain fiscally sound even as we take the necessary and often difficult steps to manage the pandemic.  Misericordia’s next president will benefit from this very solid foundation, a position of strength that will prove attractive to aspiring and talented leaders in higher education.

As I referenced, the coronavirus pandemic has presented some very serious challenges and uncertainties that will likely change the landscape of higher education for years to come.  Misericordia has done an excellent job responding to the immediate and known challenges of COVID-19.  However, our next president will need to display agility, creativity, and entrepreneurial skills in order to lead the Misericordia community as together we attempt to adapt and flourish in this challenging new environment. 

Within the last few weeks, the presidential search committee was finalized, and they accepted the Board's charge to undertake the work that will lead to the appointment of our next president.  Trustee Greg Collins will serve as chair of this committee. We have also enlisted the services of AGB Search to advise and assist with the recruiting process, as well as to assist in evaluating and vetting candidates. Offering years of search experience, Dr. Robert Holyer and Dr. Melinda Leonardo, as well as the executive team at AGB Search, will shepherd our progress from the beginning of the search through the successful transition of our next president.  This presidential search web page will assist us in communicating in a timely manner. 

The first phase of the search process requires us to survey the Misericordia community in order to develop a collective sense of the characteristics and attributes that we seek in our next president. Consequently, the search will begin by listening to the community. This will be done in several ways. AGB Search will hold virtual listening sessions for all constituencies at Misericordia—faculty, staff, students, administration, trustees, etc. from September 8-11.  In addition, this presidential search web page will allow the community to communicate directly and confidentially with the search committee. In all of these venues, the Misericordia community will be afforded the opportunity to share with the search committee specific qualifications, experiences, and attributes that are necessary for a successful presidency.

Based upon these responses and the findings of the search committee, recruiting materials will be developed and posted on the presidential search web page in a timely fashion.  The Misericordia community is encouraged to review them and nominate potential candidates who display appropriate leadership qualifications. Please send your nominations directly to our search consultants at robert.holyer@agbsearch.com  or melinda.leonardo@agbsearch.com.

A search of this nature must be conducted under strict rules of confidentiality to protect prospective candidates. Consequently, all members of the search committee are bound by clear expectations of confidentiality and must refrain from discussing details of the search process, the candidate pool, or individual applicants.

While respecting the requirements of confidentiality, the search committee will communicate its progress on a regular basis and strive for transparency whenever possible.  The timeline for the search is available on the search web page. The chair of the presidential search committee will issue periodic updates which will also be posted on this web page. The chair of the search committee is the only committee member authorized to speak publicly about the search. Please direct your questions and concerns to him.

Throughout these challenging times, the Misericordia community has remained faithful to its mission as well as the charisms of the Sisters of Mercy.  The Board of Trustees is committed to working with the search committee and the entire Misericordia community to select a future president with exceptional leadership qualities and the vision necessary to guide our University into its second century.   

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Deborah Smith-Mileski, Chair
Misericordia University Board of Trustees

Search Composition

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