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Committee updates College community on presidential search

| Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Saint Mary’s Presidential Search Committee will be using the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer as consultants in their search, presidential search committee chair Maureen Karnatz Smith and committee vice chair Patricia Purcell announced in a letter released to the Saint Mary’s student body Tuesday.

According to the letter, Robin Mamlet, Sheila Murphy and Christine Pendleton will be helping lead the search. The letter said the firm has taken time to examine what qualities they are looking for in the next College president.

“Witt/Kieffer spent three days on campus at the end of April talking with many College constituencies about the equalizations needed in the next Saint Mary’s President,” the letter said.

The Presidential Search Committee will release a profile of what they desire in an executive and release it to the community on the website at a later date, the letter said. The committee urged the campus community in its message to be a part of the search, both in nominating candidates for the position of president and in suggesting people who may be able to assist in the selection process.

“We hope that you will consider nominating qualified candidates or provide contacts who might be helpful in the search,” Karnatz and Purcell said in the email.

The College is pursuing a “hybrid” approach in the search for a new president, the letter said. This approach includes both interviews and the candidate providing input to the board.

“A hybrid approach means that a select number of representatives of the institution will participate in the final interviews and provide input to the board,” the letter said. “These representatives will sign a confidentiality agreement. The reason this is important is that it makes candidates who do not want to be publicly interviewed for fear of losing their current positions comfortable with the application process.”

The committee believes that guaranteeing its applicants confidentiality will help to “yield more applicants” for the position of president, according to the email.

Others on the Presidential Search Committee include trustees Sr. Alma Mary Anderson, Don Fischer, Fr. Paul Kollman, Mike Mathile, Bill Schmuhl and Mary Pat Seurkamp; Madeleva Society Steering Committee member Robyn Caponi; director of athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek; Belles of the Last Decade member Maureen Parsons; Bill Murphy of the Parents Council; president of the Alumnae Association board Katie Sears; philosophy and environmental studies department chair Megan Zwart; sociology department chair Leslie Wang; assistant director of Campus Ministry Emily Sipos-Butler and junior Jazmin Herrera.

Editor’s note: Story updated May 14.

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