Presidential Search

Presidential Search Committee Update

June 13, 2017

Dear St. Francis College Faculty, Staff, Administration, Students, Alumni and Friends:

It is a pleasure to update you on the activities of the Presidential Search Committee. As previously reported, the Search Committee consists of 13 members representing many constituencies of the St. Francis College Community, including faculty, students, administration, Franciscan Brothers, alumni and Trustees. Earlier this year, the Search Committee conducted an open and inclusive gathering of ideas from the SFC community which resulted in the Presidential Profile. The Presidential Profile describes the qualifications St. Francis College seeks in its next President. Please see the Presidential Search portal on the College’s website ( for further information.

In early May, the committee reviewed in depth the materials of 80 candidates who had completed the application process. After reviewing these applications and with the input of our consultants at Witt/Kieffer, the committee selected several semi-finalist candidates who best met the qualifications outlined in the Presidential Profile. I am pleased to report that we have many very qualified candidates. Last week, the semi-finalist candidates were interviewed in person by the Search Committee. From those interviews, the Search Committee agreed to bring several finalists back for further interviews.

The finalist interviews will occur over the next month or so and will include confidential meetings with representatives of the many constituencies comprising the St. Francis College community. These constituent groups will report their views to the Board of Trustees through the Search Committee.

It is important to note that the search and selection process remains confidential in order to attract the most qualified candidates and maintain the integrity of the process. Several candidates are very high performing leaders at their current institutions and would discontinue their interest in SFC if their identity is disclosed.

Upon conclusion of the finalist interviews, the Search Committee will present each of the candidates to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will select the next President and contract negotiations will commence. We expect that we will be able to announce our new President before the start of the next school year. Please note this is the planned timeline and could change as necessary. We certainly want to announce our decision before the Fall 2017 term, but will not sacrifice the quality of candidate or the search process to achieve this end.

The Search Committee has spent a considerable amount of time working on this very important task. Despite busy schedules related to their own careers and families, each has made this search a priority. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am grateful for their efforts and I believe the result of their good work will be the hiring of our next President in the near future.

Thank you for your continued interest in our Presidential Search. Please do not hesitate to contact the committee or me through Alexandria Egler, Ph.D. if you have any questions. We will endeavor to answer them within the confines of our confidential agreement with the finalist candidates.


Denis J. Salamone ‘75
Presidential Search Committee

Presidential Search Committee Update

March 29, 2017

Dear St. Francis College Faculty, Staff, Administration, Students, Alumni and Friends:

It is a pleasure to share an update with you on the presidential search process.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, I extend my gratitude to all of you who took the time to participate in our open forums and meetings with Mr. Dennis Barden, Ms. Sheila Murphy and Ms. Kim Brettschneider of the executive search firm Witt/Kieffer. These meetings, which were held on February 22nd and 23rd, assisted the team in building a deeper understanding of the College, the expectations, challenges, responsibilities, as well as the qualities and characteristics of our next president. They also offered an opportunity to members of our SFC community to gain an awareness of the search process as well as ask questions and share concerns. The committee and our team from Witt/Kieffer are very pleased with the enthusiastic participation and fruitful conversations that took place on campus during those two days and the feedback has been tremendously positive.

Search Committee Meeting

The Search Committee met on February 23rd with the Witt/Kieffer team to review and edit a draft of the advertisement as well as discuss placement of the advertisement. The committee also worked to focus on ranking the most essential and important qualifications of our new president. As a result, a leadership profile has emerged that will be shared with potential candidates. Both the advertisement and the leadership profile have been uploaded to the College’s website. Our search will be an open, inclusive, national recruitment of candidates with Witt/Kieffer screening every application and interviewing the most qualified. A timeline was presented as we move strategically with rigor, care and prudence in our process.

Committee Objectives

Our objectives as a committee are to work on behalf of the Board of Trustees to accomplish the following:

    • Prepare and approve a leadership profile and institutional opportunities for the next president and a statement of desired characteristics and experience necessary to realize these opportunities based on input from the College’s faculty, staff, administration, students and the Franciscan Brothers. This objective has been realized and the leadership profile is now on the College’s website and has been made available to candidates.
    • Conduct an open, inclusive and national search to attract highly qualified candidates.
    • Recommend to the Board two to three preferred candidates, unranked, with substantiation of the committee’s conclusion that these candidates meet the requirements for the position.

Communication, Process and Timing

It is the desire of the committee to be as transparent as possible about the process. The committee has been charged by the Board of Trustees to lead a search that will result in the best possible group of candidates and the most promising set of finalists.

To the degree that it is possible and without compromising confidentiality requirements, the committee will provide updates to the College community regarding the overall progress of the search process.

Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible while also having the capacity to protect the confidentiality of candidates. With this in mind, we will be utilizing a hybrid search model that allows the search committee, as well as selected members of the College community to meet finalist candidates. All who will be involved in the interviewing process will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. There will not be open, public forums with the candidates.

Our planned timeline remains the same. The recruitment of candidates is underway. In mid-May the Search Committee will select the candidates to be interviewed in person by the entire Committee. Those interviews will occur by the end of May. During the month of June, the Committee will host a second round of interviews, select potential finalists and lead the confidential hybrid review process mentioned above before recommending two or three finalists to the Board of Trustees by the end of June. We expect the Board of Trustees to select and negotiate a contract with our new President thereafter with public announcement long before the start of the next school year. Please note this is the planned timeline and could change as necessary. We certainly want to install our next President before the start of the school year, but will not sacrifice quality of candidate or search process to achieve this end.

Thank you for your continued interest in our Presidential search. Please do not hesitate to contact the committee or me through Alexandria Egler, Ph.D. if you have any questions or suggestions about the search.


Denis J. Salamone ‘75
Presidential Search Committee

Presidential Search Committee Announcement

February 8, 2017

Dear St. Francis College Community,

Shortly after President Dugan’s untimely death, the Board of Trustees met and made two important decisions for the continued success of St. Francis College: The Trustees appointed Dr. Timothy J. Houlihan as Interim President and created a Presidential Search Committee. I write today with important updates about the search for our next President, including information on the process, timing and how you can be involved in the process.


This 13 member committee is made up of individuals who are not only trustees, faculty, administrators, alumni, a current student, and parents of alumni, but they possess a multitude of skills and serve a variety of roles throughout our community. Each has graciously offered to participate in what is an all-important, but time-consuming process. They are:

Board of TrusteesFaculty
Hector Batista ’84Dr. Kathleen Nolan
Msgr. John J. BrackenDr. Frank Sorrentino
Brother William A. Boslet, OSF ’70
Jean Desravines ’94Administration
Dr. Leslie JacobsonLinda Werbel Dashefsky
Michael MacchiarolaMadalyn M. Hanley ’80
Dr. Victor J. Masi ’89
Denis J. Salamone ’75 (Chair)Student
Phoebe Lee ’17
Assistant to the Committee
Dr. Alexandria M. Egler


The search committee has retained the firm of Witt/Kieffer to assist us during this process. Dennis Barden, Sheila Murphy, Kim Brettschneider and their team at Witt/Kieffer bring an enormous amount of experience and will be a great help to us in managing the content and logistics of the process and identifying the most promising candidates. Perhaps their most important role will be to meet with faculty, administration, alumni, and students and gather feedback about the qualities that should be exemplified by our next President. The Presidential Search Committee will communicate the dates and times of open meetings with Mr. Barden and Ms. Murphy. Whether you attend an open session or not, we hope that everyone will share feedback with the consultants and the search committee by participating in an online survey.

Your comments will be anonymous and confidential. Your responses will help the consultants, and subsequently the candidates, understand the mission, charism and culture of St. Francis College, the challenges the College will face in the next few years, and the qualities and skills the next President should possess in order to lead St. Francis College going forward.


With input from the St. Francis College community and advice from our search consulting firm, the Presidential Search Committee will determine the qualifications necessary in our next President. The position will be advertised and a process of application by interested candidates will commence. The Search Committee welcomes any suggestions you may have for candidates. Details of the application process and instructions will follow. The Search Committee will review applicants and, after lengthy interviews and due diligence, expects to recommend finalists for selection by the Board of Trustees at the end of the process.

It is the intention of the Presidential Search Committee and the Board of Trustees to install our next President by the start of the 2017/2018 academic year. However, we will take the time necessary to find the best candidate to lead St. Francis College into the future even if the process goes beyond the beginning of the next academic year.

Denis J. Salamone’75, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee and a member of the College’s Board of Trustees, will provide periodic updates to the community through the St. Francis College website at These updates will explain where we are in the process, the next steps and timing as we know it. We will be as open as possible about the process, but the identity of the candidates and the discussions and deliberations of the Committee will not be disclosed to protect the privacy of the candidates.

Thank you in advance for your support and participation in this important process.


John F. Tully’67
Chair, Board of Trustees