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] stedwards.edu (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.
Presidential Search Committee
The Board of Trustees has appointed a Presidential Search Committee to conduct the search for a new president and to make recommendations to the board.
Representing a broad cross-section of the university community, the members of the search committee are:
- Hughes Abell, trustee, and general partner of Llano Partners, Ltd
- Linus Akanoh Jr. ’06, trustee, and senior manager in the Strategic Risk Market Office of Deloitte & Touche LLP
- Brother Richard Daly, CSC, ’61, trustee, and Moreau Province, Province Center
- Brother Thomas Dziekan, CSC, trustee, and Provincial Superior of the Moreau Province
- Catherine Tobin Hilliard, trustee, and partner of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales
- Lisa Kirkpatrick, vice president for Student Affairs
- Carolyn Lewis, trustee, and CEO of Lewco Interests
- Lorelei Ortiz, professor of Business Communication and chair of the Management Department
- Leslie Rios ’20, president of Student Government Association
- Mary Rist, professor of Writing and Rhetoric and chair of the Department of Literature, Writing and Rhetoric
- Marty Rose, trustee, chair of the Board of Trustees, and attorney at Frost Brown Todd LLC
- Steve Shadowen ’80, trustee, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, vice-chair of the Board of Trustees, and founding partner of Hilliard & Shadowen LLP
- Duncan Underwood ’95, trustee, and president and CEO of Underwood Ventures LLC
- Cristina Bordin, staff, liaison to the Board of Trustees, and Presidential Search Committee support
Community Survey for the Presidential Search
Your input is important to the process as we seek the very best individual to lead St. Edward’s University. Our Community Survey gives you an opportunity to submit candidate nominations, identify critical issues and opportunities facing St. Edward’s, and to describe the skills, attributes and experiences the next president should have and what you hope they will accomplish. Responses to this survey will be shared with the Presidential Search Committee and Isaacson, Miller search firm.
The university has hired a search consulting team, including Julie Filizetti of Isaacson, Miller to work with the Presidential Search Committee and, ultimately, the Board of Trustees, in identifying our next president.
Isaacson, Miller is a national executive search firm devoted to recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations. Our founders created the firm in 1982, a time when civic institutions rarely used executive search firms. The firm has grown steadily, and today, Isaacson, Miller stands alone as a large, national, retained search firm dedicated to the full range of public and civic missions. Isaacson, Miller has active practices in higher education, science and social science research, human services, conservation and environmental defense, human and civil rights advocacy, K-12 education, academic and community healthcare, philanthropy, arts and culture, and community-based economic development, with sub-specialties in almost every functional area. Many of its clients and past candidates become part of an extended network that shares our goal of strengthening the civic infrastructure. They see their own missions reflected in the work of the firm and choose to assist us, generously, in our quest for the finest talent in their fields.
The country’s civic community has come to recognize Isaacson, Miller's persistent commitment to recruiting diverse talent. Since Isaacson, Miller was founded, 42% of its placements have been women, and 23% have been people of color, with a total of 54% diversity hires.
Isaacson, Miller is a mission-driven business committed to the recruitment of powerful civic leaders who raise our own and our clients’ competitive aspirations. It believes that civic organizations are essential to a strong civil society, a vigorous democracy and to a free market economy. Civic institutions educate us all. They encourage the marketplace of ideas through research, teaching and advocacy. They inspire innovation, and, through foundations and philanthropy, they arouse the charitable endeavors of private citizens. The civic sector serves as the guardian of our economic and societal strength. We have made its success our business.
Julie Filizetti, Partner
Julie Filizetti came to Isaacson, Miller in 2007 after 16 years in higher education administration. Her practice at Isaacson, Miller focuses on higher education leadership roles including presidents and CEOs, vice presidents, provosts, deans and directors. She has conducted searches in academic medicine, training and development, advancement, research, and technology. Before joining the firm, she was the associate provost for Academic Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. She served as a fellow of the American Council on Education (ACE), the nation's premier higher education leadership development program that prepares senior leaders to serve American colleges and universities. She completed her fellowship at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, during the 2005–2006 academic year. She also spent 12 years as a naval officer, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Filizetti was a member of the board of trustees of Menlo College and served as Chair of the board for 5 years. She also serves on advisory boards for Villanova University, Santa Clara University and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She is a graduate of both Leadership Monterey Peninsula and Leadership California. She holds an EdD in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Villanova University and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Filizetti has extensive experience in helping universities, including Catholic universities, identify and hire high-ranking executives, including provosts and presidents. She is a graduate of Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania; has served on the advisory boards at Villanova and Santa Clara universities; and recently led the successful searches for new presidents at Loyola University New Orleans and the University of San Francisco. She has also developed extensive working relationships with other universities, such as Marquette University, Creighton University, Loyola University Chicago and Seattle University.
Leslie McCarthy, Managing Associate
Leslie C. McCarthy joined Isaacson, Miller in 2007 and has been in her current role as an associate since 2012. Her practice focuses on academic leadership positions with an emphasis on Catholic higher education institutions. She also has experience recruiting leaders for nonprofit and advocacy organizations. Prior to Isaacson, Miller she worked as an administrative director for the Commercial Law League of America, a research assistant for the Center for International Law and Policy, and a reference librarian at New England Law Boston. McCarthy also served as pro bono counsel for Immigration Legal Services at Catholic Charities and Kids In Need of Defense (KIND). She holds a JD from New England Law Boston and and is a graduate of Villanova University.
The Presidential Search Committee has adopted a detailed schedule leading to a comprehensive national and international search for our new president.
The outline of the schedule is:
September 2019: Judy McLaughlin, educational chair, Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, Harvard University, led the Board of Trustees’ full-day analysis of the board’s vision for the future of the university and, in light of that vision, the qualities and characteristics that the university seeks in our new president.
September 2019: The search committee had its initial meeting, during which it planned the broad outline of its work. The committee then prepared and sent a Request for Proposal to the nation’s leading academic search consulting firms.
October 2019: The search committee analyzed the consulting firms’ responses, selected two firms to make full presentations to the committee, and then selected consultant Julie Filizetti of the firm Isaacson, Miller. Associate Vice President for Human Resources, and Diversity and Inclusion, Melissa Esqueda provided the members of the committee with a list of practical steps to ensure that the search is inclusive in all regards.
November 2019: The search committee met with consultant Julie Filizetti and her colleague Leslie McCarthy to further refine the committee’s work plan and to begin preparing the Position Profile (job description) to be advertised beginning in March 2020.
December 2019: Dr. Martin publicly announced his planned departure for June 30, 2021. The Board of Trustees publicly announced the formation of the Presidential Search Committee.
January 2020: The search committee and consultant will hold a series of meetings with the leadership of university constituencies. These meetings will supplement the representation that the constituencies have on the search committee and will ensure that the committee has a broad and deep understanding of the qualities and characteristics that the university seeks in a new president. These meetings will help inform the committee’s preparation of the Position Profile.
February 2020: The search committee will present the proposed Position Profile (job description) to the Board of Trustees for its approval. The committee will then begin advertising the position and soliciting nominations and applications.
April 2020: Having monitored the applications as they come in, the search committee will meet with the consultant to review the initial applications and share insights from the initial rounds of networking.
May–July 2020: The search committee will continue to review applications, and the consultant will conduct limited interviews of candidates.
August–September 2020: The consultant will present the full candidate pool to the search committee, which will then decide which candidates to interview.
September–October 2020: The search committee will conduct confidential in-person, off-site interviews with the selected candidates. The committee will then select the finalists.
October 2020: The search consultant will conduct comprehensive education and employment verification checks and extensive references on each finalist and report the findings to the search committee.
November 2020: The finalists will visit the campus for interviews. After further evaluation, the Search Committee will make its recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
December 2020: At a special meeting of the Board of Trustees, the board will select our new president.
January–June 2021: Through a process to be determined by the Board of Trustees, the university will make the transition to a new president.
July 1, 2021: The new president begins work.
In September 2019, Judy McLaughlin, educational chair, Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, Harvard University, led the Board of Trustees’ full-day analysis of the board’s vision for the future of the university and, in light of that vision, the qualities and characteristics that the university seeks in our new president.
After the September 2019 Board Retreat, the search committee had its initial meeting, during which it planned the broad outline of its work. The committee then prepared and sent a Request for Proposal to the nation’s leading academic search consulting firms.
In October 2019, the Search Committee analyzed the consulting firms’ responses, selected two firms to make full presentations to the committee, and then selected as our consultant Julie Filizetti of the firm Isaacson, Miller.
In November 2019, the Search Committee met with consultant Julie Filizetti and her colleague Leslie McCarthy to further refine the committee’s work plan and to begin preparing the Position Profile (job description) to be advertised beginning in March 2020.
In December 2019, Dr. Martin publicly announced his planned departure for June 30, 2021. The Board of Trustees publicly announced the formation of the Presidential Search Committee.
Resolution to Establish the Presidential Search Committee and Approve Its Charge
St. Edward’s University
Board of Trustees
Sept. 13, 2019
Whereas, Article II. The Board of Trustees, Part A. Responsibilities and Powers, Section 1 of the Bylaws states “Elect a President who shall be the chief executive officer of St. Edward’s University and chief staff officer for the Board of Trustees;”
Whereas, Article V. Committees of the Board, Section 1 Committees states “Ad hoc committees may be appointed by the chairperson of the board with the approval of the board and shall be for one (1) year’s duration unless otherwise fixed by the board. All committees shall be self-governing within the sphere of their cognizance, but their action shall be by majority vote;”
Whereas, The St. Edward’s University Board of Trustees hereby establishes a Presidential Search Committee to conduct a comprehensive search for the next president of the university and to present to the Board of Trustees acceptable candidates for board consideration;
Whereas, The Board of Trustees requests that the Presidential Search Committee proceed as expeditiously as possible and present regular progress reports to the board;
Whereas, The qualities that the board seeks in candidates are purposely described for the Presidential Search Committee in broad terms to provide maximum flexibility in identifying the most outstanding candidates available for the position;
Whereas, The Board of Trustees advises the Presidential Search Committee that the Board of Trustees seeks an individual who can steward the creative and innovative pursuit of a vision for the future while staying faithful to, and reinforcing, the core strengths and values of St. Edward’s University;
Whereas, The Presidential Search Committee is committed to identifying candidates who have an understanding of and commitment to the mission of St. Edward’s University; an understanding of and commitment to the vision for the future of St. Edward’ University; the capacity to provide inspirational and innovative leadership for the entire St. Edward’s University community; a demonstrated commitment to supporting and enhancing diversity and equity; and an inclusive decision-making style;
Whereas, The following charge outlines the Board of Trustees’ expectations with respect to the search process and the authority granted to the Presidential Search Committee:
- Develop a search prospectus consistent with the input of the Board of Trustees to include a statement of desired presidential qualifications that will guide the search and selection process.
- Prepare a statement of institutional opportunities and challenges for the next president consistent with the input from the Board of Trustees and the help of representatives of the St. Edward’s University community and a search firm.
- Prepare a statement of desired presidential characteristics necessary to realize those opportunities and challenges consistent with the input from the Board of Trustees and the help of the representatives of the St. Edward’s University community and a search firm.
- Adopt a timetable for the search that will permit the selection of a president by December 2020.
- Conduct an active, national and global search to attract a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates.
- Work in partnership with a search firm to organize and implement the search process, including communications with candidates and references, maintenance of records and arrangements for interviews.
- Deliver periodic reports to the Board of Trustees and members of the university community about the progress of the search, while maintaining confidentiality about candidates.
- Observe strict confidentiality in the conduct of the search. Any member of the Presidential Search Committee who breaches confidentiality may be removed from the committee without replacement.
- Maintain absolute confidentiality concerning the names of candidates and discussions within the committee throughout the search and beyond.
- Organize a process to introduce candidate(s) to the full Board of Trustees and additional community members to elicit feedback to inform the committee’s decision, if appropriate and possible within candidate’s need for confidentiality.
- Recommend to the Board of Trustees, which holds the final responsibility to select and appoint the president, the final candidate with substantiation of the committee’s conclusions that the candidate meet the criteria originally set forth.
Whereas, The Board of Trustees is grateful for your commitment of time, energy and wisdom, and your devotion to St. Edward’s University as you undertake this important responsibility on behalf of the university;
Whereas, The Board of Trustees appreciates the Presidential Search Committee’s willingness to undertake the important work that will lead to the appointment of the next president of St. Edward’s University; and
Be it resolved, That the Board of Trustees approves the creation of and charge to the Presidential Search Committee as presented.