Vice President for Academic Affairs Search

Dear Colleagues,

Supporting a comprehensive national search for the College’s next Vice President for Academic Affairs is one of my highest priorities for this year. I am writing to inform you of the plans that are underway and to invite your participation in the first step of the search process: building a position profile that effectively communicates our collective vision for this vital appointment. I will also update you on the development of the Vice President for Academic Affairs Search Committee.

Early in the Fall semester, two members of the Board of Trustees and two senior administrators joined me in a comprehensive process to solicit and review proposals from prospective search firms to assist us in conducting the search. After interviewing three of these firms, we selected Witt/Kieffer, a Chicago-based firm with deep experience in higher education leadership searches. Witt/Kieffer has conducted more searches in academic leadership — specifically Provosts, Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, and Deans — than any other firm in the country. The firm is well known for its work in Catholic higher education, which was important to us in our deliberations. Further, Witt/Keiffer has a strong commitment to advancing leadership diversity, and promoting candidates who will act as catalysts for inclusion and equity on their campuses. For more information on the firm or the consultants, please go to

Our Witt/Kieffer consultants, Sheila Murphy and Amy Crutchfield, will be on campus on Wednesday, November 9thto Friday, November 11th to begin meeting with members of the College community. We have discussed a few broad themes that will help frame these conversations. Our collective responses to these questions will shape the profile created to solicit, and ultimately select, candidates. I share them with you here in the hope that you might reflect on these a bit before the meetings:

  • What do you think are the most important qualities of leadership, personal characteristics, and prior experiences that we should look for in the next Vice President for Academic Affairs?
  • What are the biggest challenges and most significant opportunities that the new Vice President will find when she/he joins our community next summer?
  • How will we measure success? If the VPAA is successfully leading in academic affairs, what will we see at the end of the first year? How about after 3-5 years?

We expect that the position profile will be posted right after Thanksgiving, accompanied by public announcements and advertising. Active recruiting will go on for the next several months to identify and screen qualified leaders. The Search Committee will begin to evaluate candidates in February, and we expect finalists to be on campus in the early spring. These campus visits will provide another opportunity for broad input and involvement in the search. We anticipate that the new VPAA will join our community in the summer of 2017. In order to keep you fully informed, space is being developed on the college’s website for announcements and information regarding the search. This site will be updated regularly. The appointment of our next Vice President for Academic Affairs will be a vital component of our ambitious plans for our shared future.

A second aspect of the search process concerns the appointment of the Search Committee. I consulted with governance groups and other stakeholders for their recommendations on the construction of a representative committee. Each of the Schools has provided nominations from among their faculty. I am grateful for this input and expect to appoint the Search Committee by the end of this week.

Vice President Pat Pratt-Cook is serving as the campus liaison to Witt-Kiefer for managing the logistics of the search. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be providing administrative resources.

I am looking forward to working with you on this important next step!

Warm regards,
President Colette Geary's signature
Colette Geary

Submit a Nomination

Contact Us

For more information about this search, please contact:

Sheila Murphy
(617) 823-0447

Amy Crutchfield
(630) 575-6130

Laura Novak
Administrative Assistant
(630) 575-6943

To nominate a candidate, please email your suggestion to StScholasticaVPAA