Search for Bonaventure’s next president continues

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By Jason Klaiber @J_Klaibs

The search for St. Bonaventure University’s 21st president continued into this month.

The members of the university’s board of trustees each anonymously completed a survey to discuss attributes they seek in the next president. An unnamed third party created and reviewed these surveys, structured with data from the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), said board chair Robert Daugherty.

A section of the survey mentioned whether or not the presidential candidates should belong to the Catholic-Franciscan heritage, said Daugherty.

“The Catholic-Franciscan mission is exceedingly important to our university,” said Daugherty.

Daugherty said he doesn’t know what the final number of candidates will be.

“It’d be great to have a pool of 100 candidates,” said Daugherty.

The board members will create a web portal with the intent to communicate with and receive input from the campus community, said Daugherty.

“We want to make sure we hear extensively from the campus community,” said Daugherty.

The university planned to hold listening sessions on campus to collect input regarding the presidential search from students as well as staff and faculty members. These sessions will be completed by April 30, said Daugherty.

“Typically, everybody thinks they want to be part of it, and then when you give them a chance, sometimes they all don’t show up,” said Daugherty. “I think part of it is to make sure that everybody feels like they’re a part of this process.”

On March 1, the board members appointed a 12-person presidential search committee to assist in the search process and make recommendations to the board. As a university-related committee, the majority of its members must belong to the board of trustees to adhere to university by-laws, said Daugherty.

Rick Trietley, the vice president for student affairs, worked with the Student Government Association (SGA) to find a student representative, said Daugherty. The faculty nominated and voted for their committee representative.

The committee planned to create an outline and potential presidential profile from the campus community’s input, said Daugherty. The committee will select the university’s successor to Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., by December 31.

A search firm yet to be hired will advertise the profile. Daugherty said he doesn’t know the cost of hiring the firm or how the university will pay them. Daugherty spoke to different search firms and people from colleges and universities within a 200-mile radius of St. Bonaventure to seek advice about finding a presidential candidate. He refused to name these universities.

The search committee will not play a role in selecting the interim president, who won’t be eligible for permanent presidency. This responsibility will be reserved for a separate committee still to be created, said Daugherty.

“We have a lot of responsibility to keep going this heritage and legacy of this Franciscan university,” said Daugherty. “We have a huge responsibility to do that and do that well with this presidential search, and we realize that.”

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