In late August 2020, St. Lawrence University’s Board of Trustees leadership appointed a Presidential Search Committee that conducted a national search. The committee was chaired by trustee Marion Roach Smith ’77 and included members from the faculty, staff, student and alumni bodies, as well as University trustees. The University retained the services of Isaacson, Miller, an executive search firm, to assist with this effort. Early in the process, the committee met with faculty, students, staff, board members, alumni, and parents to gain a better understanding of the University, and the areas of opportunity for St. Lawrence’s next leader, as well as the qualifications and experience the Laurentian community seeks in presidential candidates. The committee received a robust and positive response to the presidential prospectus and had conversations with hundreds of potential candidates and helpful sources.
Based on advice from Isaacson, Miller, and industry best practices, the Board of Trustees decided to conduct a confidential search, which means the candidates are not introduced to the full community until they have accepted the position and are announced publicly. This is standard practice in higher education for presidential searches to attract the best possible pool of candidates.