December 10, 2019

Dear Members of the St. Edward’s Community and Family,

On December 10, 2019, our beloved President, Dr. George Martin, announced his forthcoming retirement, to be effective June 30, 2021, just over a year and a half from now. While there will be many opportunities to focus on his extraordinary tenure and many accomplishments as that date approaches. Dr. Martin remains fully engaged in the work of the university. You should rest assured that Dr. Martin continues to focus on the day-to-day challenges of leading St. Edward’s as well as guiding us into the future as we continue to achieve our goals in Strategic Plan 2022.

Under our charter, the responsibility to select Dr. Martin’s successor falls to your Board of Trustees. There is no more important mission for the Board than to successfully locate and recruit our next leader. The Board has already been hard at work planning the search process. We began the planning process in the spring of this year. The full Board dedicated its fall retreat to a facilitated session led by Dr. Judy McLaughlin, Educational Chair, Harvard Seminar for New Presidents at Harvard University in order to better understand the qualities and priorities our next leader must demonstrate. At the conclusion of the retreat, the full Board of Trustees took two key actions: (1) it selected a Presidential Search Committee specifically designed to provide a diverse, inclusive and representative body to undertake the hard work of selection, and (2) prepared and delivered to the Search Committee its charging authority to act on behalf of the Trustees.

Trustee Steve Shadowen has been selected as the Committee Chair. The members of the Search Committee are:

  • Steve Shadowen ’80 – Trustee, Search Committee Chair
  • Graham “Hughes” Abell – Trustee, Past Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Linus N. Akanoh Jr. ’06 – Trustee
  • Br. Richard P. Daly, CSC, ’61 – Trustee
  • Br. Thomas A. Dziekan, CSC – Trustee
  • Dr. Lisa Kirkpatrick – Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Carolyn Lewis – Trustee, Past Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Lorelei A. Ortiz – Faculty Senate President
  • Dr. Mary Rist – Faculty
  • Leslie Rios – Student Government Association President
  • Martin E. Rose, Trustee – Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Catherine Tobin Hilliard – Trustee
  • Duncan K. Underwood ’95 – Trustee
  • Cristina Bordin – Committee Staff Liaison

The first task for the Committee was to locate, interview and select a search firm sensitive to the unique opportunities and challenges the next President of St. Edward’s University will address. The selected firm, Isaacson, Miller, uniquely met those requirements; our team will be led by Julie Filizetti and Leslie McCarthy of the Isaacson, Miller firm. The Committee is already hard at work; they have met with our search team and begun the work of scheduling the complex process.

Among the many ways we intend to ensure inclusion and transparency will be a survey to be sent out shortly, providing a forum for input into the selection process. We urge you to complete the survey so that your voice will be heard in the process.

Thereafter, during the month of January 2020, there will be a series of listening meetings for key constituencies. During these sessions, the search consultants and representatives of the Search Committee will meet with the leadership of all university constituencies to gain more insight into the search goals and challenges.

Much of this process requires strict confidentiality — primarily to protect the privacy of the highly qualified candidates we are seeking. Our Committee has agreed to complete confidentiality — so please understand that when you speak with them regarding their work. Below is a link to the Board of Trustees’ Charter to the Committee for those interested in learning more about the process. Our Presidential Search website also contains a full schedule of dates and events. Our website will be updated regularly as events warrant.

We are blessed to have experienced the last 20 years of extraordinary growth and achievement under Dr. Martin’s leadership. That success means we are an attractive target for highly talented candidates. It also means we have an enormous responsibility to take the achievements of the last 20 years, the solid foundation of 21st century success built by Dr. Martin and his team and take St. Edward’s ever higher in achievement and in service of its Holy Cross mission.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Steve Shadowen or me. We can be reached through cristinb [at] (subject: Presidential%20Search) (Cristina Bordin), the Search Committee staff liaison.


Martin E. Rose, Chair
St. Edward’s University Board of Trustees


Our Campus and Community

St. Edward’s University offers a highly personalized educational experience for our students from the moment they arrive on the hilltop. We’re searching for a president who can further our mission of graduating prepared, compassionate problem solvers who are driven to improve the world. Scroll through the photo gallery below to see how our campus environment helps students thrive.