Presidential Search Profile

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Overview 3 President and Cabinet


Catholic and Benedictine Traditions


Mission 6 Accreditation 6 Dynamic Institutional Learning Goals


Vibrant Liberal Arts Education


Committed Faculty


Engaged Students


Commitment to Inclusion


Connected Alumni/ae


Strategic Planning


Solid Financial Health


Leadership Agenda and Qualifications


Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations




The College of Saint Benedict (CSB) and Saint John’s University (SJU), two highly selective, national liberal arts Catholic institutions in living relationships with their founding monastic communities, are pursuing a transition from two campus presidents to a stronglyintegrated single leadership model for the leadership of the two institutions. The inaugural president under the integrated single leadership model will report to the unified College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University common governing board, and will provide leadership, vision, and direction for these institutions

with centralized administrative and other functions. The trustees seek a talented, mission focused, results oriented leader who will meet the expectations and possess the highly valued competencies, experiences, and qualifications that merit serving these two outstanding institutions. The right candidate must model Catholic and Benedictine values, provide inspired leadership, and establish strong working relationships with key internal and external constituent groups and with the common Board of Trustees. The new president will take office by July 1, 2022.

OVERVIEW The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are two nationally recognized liberal arts colleges with a rich history of collaborating to educate students. As academic communities founded in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions, CSB and SJU trace their beginnings to the mid-1800s and early 1900s. SJU was founded in 1857 as an institution to educate men, followed by CSB as an institution for women in 1913. CSB is sponsored by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict and SJU is an apostolate of Saint John’s Abbey, a Benedictine monastery and public juridic person of the Roman Catholic Church. The CSB and SJU campuses are located six miles apart in central Minnesota and are surrounded by 3,000 acres of forest, prairies, and lakes. CSB is located in St. Joseph, Minnesota and SJU is in


Collegeville, Minnesota. The institutions are minutes away from the St. Cloud metropolitan area and 70 miles away from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. CSB is primarily an undergraduate institution with a newly developed graduate program in Nursing. SJU offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to the liberal arts undergraduate program, there is a graduate School of Theology and Seminary, which offers master’s degrees in theology and ministry to women and men, preparing them to use their diverse gifts to transform the world. Its Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML), an international center for the preservation of manuscripts, was the recipient of the National Medal for Museums and Library Service. SJU is also home to The Saint John’s Bible and other sponsored programs.


OVERVIEW (CONT.) Together, CSB and SJU form a one-of-a-kind partnership of two top-tier colleges. They produce outstanding student outcomes, including being the top two colleges in Minnesota for securing jobs after graduation. Furthermore, the institutions are national leaders among baccalaureate schools for participation in study abroad, are recognized as top producers of Fulbright Scholars nationally, and were granted non-governmental observer status to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. CSB and SJU are regularly ranked as top-tier liberal arts colleges by national magazines. For decades, CSB and SJU have operated under what is known as the “Coordinate Relationship.” This unique model allowed CSB and SJU, as neighboring Catholic higher education institutions, to share a common undergraduate program and faculty, while maintaining their own identities and campuses. As a result of this relationship, the two institutions have a common curriculum, a single academic calendar, and identical degree requirements. All academic departments are shared, and classes are offered throughout the day on both campuses. A single provost, who serves as the chief academic officer, coordinates the academic program. For many years, several administrative areas were jointly operated, and the governing boards of CSB and SJU met together to exercise oversight of the coordinate program. At the same time, they each had their own governing board that was responsible for governing and making decisions with respect to each


campus. In terms of executive leadership, CSB and SJU each had a President who operated as the chief executive officer, as well as their own chief financial officers. Over the past few years, the Boards of Trustees engaged in a process to examine the structure and effectiveness of the Coordinate Relationship and determined that a new model of Strong Integration, led by a single president would enable the two institutions to move toward their strategic goals. This new structure is established in a Joint Operating Agreement, which is a contractual agreement between the two institutions. Under the new governance model, CSB and SJU will continue to each have an independent governing board with fiduciary responsibility to their respective institutions. Yet, these governing boards will have the same trustees, the same meetings, the same board committees, and the same board leadership.


CSB and SJU each have a two-tiered governance structure: a Board of Trustees and Corporate Members. While the Boards of Trustees are composed of the same persons, the Corporate Members of each institution are self-perpetuating and comprised of five members of the respective institution’s founding monastery. The Corporate Members of each institution have certain reserved powers such as the approval of trustees, approval of the appointment of the president, and specified financial transactions.


PRESIDENT AND CABINET The single president will provide a unified strategic vision and leadership, especially with respect to the majority of CSB and SJU operations, which following the execution of the Joint Operating Agreement, will result in numerous joint administrative functions and continued operation of the shared undergraduate program. At present, CSB and SJU are led by interim presidents, each of whom is supported by a cabinet of institutional leaders. The interim presidents are in the process of creating a single cabinet which will take effect toward the end of the academic year. The single president will have a combined cabinet that will include current and new members. The current CSB/ SJU leadership team brings a blend of experience in higher education, administration,

finance, communications, enrollment, advancement and business. Consequently, the president will be supported by a leadership team that is common to CSB and SJU, as well as by office staff that support both institutions and carry out the responsibilities of each institution. The move to a single leader and one cabinet will allow the two institutions to develop a unified strategic vision, allow for greater nimbleness and agility in decision making, work towards tactical alignment on key initiatives, streamline administrative functions, as well as simplify internal decision-making processes. In the ever-changing higher education environment, this will allow CSB/SJU to be nimbler when change is required. The more integrated structure also will advance efforts to have a cohesive brand identity.

CATHOLIC AND BENEDICTINE TRADITIONS The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are Catholic and Benedictine, residential, liberal arts colleges founded and enriched by the Saint Benedict’s Monastery and Saint John’s Abbey. The academic communities at both institutions are dedicated to the intellectual, spiritual, and ethical formation of all their members and to academic excellence in the search for truth. The founding and ongoing inspiration of the institutions is the Catholic intellectual tradition, in the context of Benedictine values and spirituality. The Catholic identity of


these schools is more than just a matter of religious sponsorship or the personal faith of members of the community, important as these are. The schools are a home for deep engagement with the ideas and traditions of Catholic culture and thought. The intellectual life of the campuses affirms the harmony of faith and reason, honors the full dignity of each person, and seeks to promote justice and the common good, all of which are central to the Catholic intellectual tradition and the Benedictine character and identity.


MISSION The missions of CSB and SJU are aligned based on our Catholic and Benedictine heritage and Coordinate Relationship. We achieve our respective missions in partnership with one another.


The mission of the College of Saint Benedict is to provide for women the best undergraduate residential liberal arts education along with select graduate programs, in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions. The college fosters integrated learning, exceptional leadership for change and wisdom for a lifetime.


Saint John’s University fosters the vitality of community through learning and the pursuit of wisdom. Grounded in Catholic and Benedictine values and tradition, the College of Arts and Sciences provides young men a distinctive residential liberal arts education, preparing them to reach their full potential and instilling in them the values and aspiration to lead lives of significance and principled achievement. Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary educates men and women in the Catholic and Benedictine tradition for ordained and lay ministry, providing them academic, spiritual, pastoral, and professional formation to serve the Church and society and to use their diverse gifts for the transformation of the world. As clear from their mission statements that the two institutions share the same fundamental commitment to providing a high quality residential, liberal arts experience to students framed by the Catholic intellectual tradition. Yet, as single-sex institutions, each institution’s mission and vision is particularly attentive to gender and holistic gender development.


ACCREDITATION CSB first received Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation in 1933 and SJU received HLC accreditation in 1950. HLC has continuously reaffirmed the institutions’ accreditation and, most recently in 2018, HLC reaffirmed both institutions’ accreditation for a ten-year period until 2027-2028. CSB and SJU programs also maintain specialized accreditation for its programs in chemistry, dietetics, nursing, music, and theology. HLC recently approved the change of structure enabling the institutions to hire a single president and move toward stronger integration.

DYNAMIC INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING GOALS At the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, learning happens in classrooms, in labs, across campus, and around the world. Drawn from the institutions’ missions and from Catholic and Benedictine values and traditions, the Institutional Learning Goals are a pledge to students. Both institutions are dedicated to ensuring students achieve these learning and developmental outcomes by the time they graduate. The Institutional Learning Goals are to think deeply, to embrace difference, to engage globally, to serve graciously, and to live courageously.


VIBRANT LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION At present, CSB and SJU offer more than 50 areas of study with 39 majors and 40 minor programs, including SJU’s School of Theology and Seminary, which offers graduate level programs and CSB’s graduate programs in Nursing. Together CSB and SJU serve 3,200 students for the current academic year. CSB’s enrollment is approximately 1,557 students and SJU’s enrollment is approximately 1,643 students. One of the strategic goals for CSB and SJU was to create a leading and innovative liberal arts curriculum emphasizing preparation for life. This was accomplished through the implementation of an innovative new general education curriculum: Integrations Curriculum. This curriculum enables students to learn how to make connections between their academic coursework, their campus life experiences, and their own life and in the world. This education builds on the skills and experiences students bring with them to CSB/SJU while exposing students to new topics, new perspectives, and career possibilities they may not even know exist. Students have a toptier academic experience that will prepare them for a

rapidly changing world. Integrated learning – the ability to see relationships among the arts, the sciences, and the humanities – is a valuable, real-life skill that makes CSB/SJU graduates highly sought after by employers and the nation’s top graduate programs. Looking forward, CSB/SJU intends to sustain the liberal arts program and, thus, a wide variety of major and minor programming. An intentional goal established in the strategic plan, Strategic Directions (SD2020), was the development of interdisciplinary programs to help make connections across departments and programs. That has resulted in the development of several minors (Neuroscience, Data Analytics, Narrative Practice) and a major (Exercise and Health Science). The intention of these majors and minors is to support student learning in the liberal arts and to support an understanding of how multiple disciplines support learning around a central theme, subject, or skillset. CSB began offering graduate programs in Nursing, including two Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees in Fall 2021.

COMMITTED FACULTY Together CSB and SJU have approximately 300 faculty with diverse educational, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Approximately 85% of the faculty are fulltime and approximately 15% are part-time. Over 80% of faculty hold the highest degrees in their respective fields. All classes are taught by CSB/SJU faculty members. The faculty of CSB and SJU participate in institutional governance through the Joint Faculty Assembly and through its representatives on the Joint Faculty Senate and standing faculty committees of the Joint Faculty Assembly. The Joint Faculty Senate is charged


to deliberate on undergraduate curricular matters, including admission and graduation requirements; the general education requirements; additions and deletions of majors, minors, and programs; and other academic policies. The Joint Faculty Assembly, along with the standing faculty committees, actively participate in shared governance of both institutions. The proposed transaction will not alter faculty’s role or input in shared governance. Faculty will continue to substantially participate in academic matters and have oversight of the curriculum.


ENGAGED STUDENTS CSB today enrolls 1,557 degree-seeking undergraduate women from 32 states and 5 foreign countries. In the Fall 2021, 84% of new entering students came from Minnesota, most of those (57%) from the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and 40% of new students identified as Roman Catholic. American students of color comprise 17% of all new students at CSB. SJU today enrolls 1,643 degree-seeking undergraduate men from 37 states and 11 foreign countries. In Fall 2021, 83% of new entering students are from Minnesota, with 66% of new Minnesota undergraduates hailing from the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Forty percent of the new entering students identify as Roman Catholic. In Fall 2005, only 5% of newly entering CSBSJU students were US students of color. That percentage increased steadily over the next decade, peaking at 20.5% in Fall 2015. Since then, the percentage of new students has held steady between 17% and 19%. In Fall 2021, 18% of the new entering student class is comprised of American students of color. Nearly all students are traditional college age, attend full time, and live in the residence halls. The Faculty Resident Program at Saint Johns is a distinctive part of campus life whereby Benedictine professors and administrators live in the residence areas and serve as adult


mentors. The program has been cited by external assessment teams as one of the major strengths of the University. Recognition of individual worth without regard for wealth or social standing is explicit in The Rule of Benedict. In harmony with this principle, the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University seek to exemplify an authentically Christian concern for human rights, and to make education broadly available to students on the sole criterion of ability to benefit from enrollment in the colleges. While CSB and SJU have historically served first their own region, they welcome growing numbers of students and faculty from diverse cultures and regions, and increasingly serve a national and international community. Student life is not only vital to the sense of community found at the two institutions, but also a fundamental part of the educational process. While committed to providing a unified educational experience for all students, each institution retains its own campus, residence halls, athletic programs, and traditions. Through unique programming, each institution is committed to serving the needs of the gender it represents.


ENGAGED STUDENTS (CONT.) Both institutions have student senates. CSB’s student senate is comprised of 16 executive board women who serve on a variety of institutional committees, take on special projects, and are responsible for the disbursement of the student activity fee. The SJU student senate is made up of 17 members: the president, regent, and three standing committees. These committees include Student Services, Judicial Board, and the Activities and Allocation Board, which is responsible for dispersing the student activity fee. More than 85 student clubs and organizations sponsored by Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) reflect student interests in academics, politics, social justice, sustainability, spirituality, and faith developments. The arts, athletics and recreation, and intercultural exchange provide integral learning opportunities for students in order to enhance their overall educational experience.

These opportunities are not viewed as extras at CSB/ SJU, rather they are part of the holistic development of our students. These co-curricular activities help students develop leadership and grow personally and spiritually. The rigorous academic program combined with strong co-curricular activities is one reason that SJU is ranked #1 and CSB #2 in Minnesota for getting jobs after graduation. The institutions are proud NCAA Division III schools in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. In addition, SJU offers 12 varsity sports and CSB offers 11 (soon to be 12 once they add lacrosse). They also offer club sports and intramurals. CSB/SJU students win on and off the field. The teams have a strong history of winning conference titles and competing for national championships. Leadership training and community involvement are also critical components of our athletic programs.

COMMITMENT TO INCLUSION Both institutions believe that an excellent liberal arts education requires an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences and that everyone deserves to feel safe and morally valued. To that end, they continue to challenge their own practices and systems. They have a commitment that an inclusive environment will be incorporated into all decisionmaking processes. They dedicate themselves to cultivating an equitable, inclusive community founded on respect for all persons.

Hired and reorganized staff in the Multicultural Center to better serve current student needs;

Created a Land Acknowledgement statement and are actively working on reconciliation with our monastic communities in their past involvement with Indian schools;

Utilized a Search Advocate process out of the HR office to promote equity and diversity in hiring practices.

Several initiatives have been undertaken recently: •

The Becoming Community Initiative, funded through a $600,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation, aims to create transformative inclusion among faculty, staff, monastics, students, alumni, and community partners at CSB and SJU;

Formed a new committee to coordinate DEI efforts;

Created a new DEIJ institutional leadership position for a Senior Diversity Officer for Equity and Inclusion;

Constructed a new, highly flexible, student friendly Multicultural Center;



CONNECTED ALUMNI/AE The College of Saint Benedict has more than 25,000 alumnae worldwide. CSB alumnae are leading courageously as a Fortune 100 CEO, as health care executives, as educators, as entrepreneurs, as lawyers and non-profit leaders. CSB alumnae contribute to community life by thinking critically about complex issues and contributing to community solutions in local, state, and national governments, school boards, and professional associations. They advocate passionately for causes they care about from education to racial equity to the environment to gender equality in work and home life. CSB alumnae are fiercely devoted to the possibilities, outcomes, and results from having attended a college for women and use their education for the common good. Alumnae are active in the life of the College as donors and volunteers contributing more than 25,000 hours of volunteer service in opportunities, including the alumnae board, admission work, student mentoring, and career development. The Bennie Creed illustrates the dedication and commitment by alumnae to the college and to the world in two phrases: •

They believe that leadership is in service to the greater good.

They believe in mentoring the women who come behind them.


Saint John’s University has more than 27,000 alumni living in all 50 states and around the world. It counts among its alumni two U.S. senators, a presidential chief of staff, a head of NSA, college presidents, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, State Supreme Court justices, an astronaut, noteworthy entrepreneurs, Bishops and Abbots, Broadway actors, distinguished scientists, army generals, the founder of Minnesota Public Radio, and a 9-11 national hero. SJU alumni generously support their alma mater financially each year, and the University’s alumni also contribute thousands of hours of service to current students each year through mentorship programs, career advising, and classroom participation. They have a fierce loyalty and affinity to their alma mater. The alumni network is strong and visible. The University boasts an active Alumni Association whose motto is “Once a Johnnie, always a Johnnie.”


STRATEGIC PLAN In May 2015, CSB and SJU jointly issued their strategic plan for the next five years, Strategic Directions 2020 (SD2020). This plan was created with the mindset that CSB and SJU must address complex and disruptive forces that would reshape higher education in the years to follow. Factors considered were the impact of demographic, economic, and cultural shifts, as well as the changing expectations of students and families related to a college education. On June 19, 2020, SD2020 was extended for two more years until 2022, in light of the proposed change of structure. The SD2020 goals include: •

Create a leading and innovative liberal arts curriculum emphasizing preparation for life.

Meet the needs and aspirations and exceed the expectations of a 21st century student body.

Become a mentor-centered community.

Extend leadership and distinction on athletic excellence and wellness.

Offer an inclusive and engaging Catholic and Benedictine experience.

Develop a new economic model that balances long-run revenues and expenses.

Develop and shape a faculty and staff size and composition model that is attentive to the external market, the financial model, and the quality of the student experience.

Develop and advance a cohesive brand identity that supports and defines the colleges separately and together.

Continue to move toward a more integrated structure and implement integrated governance and management structures with a single president.

SOLID FINANCIAL HEALTH CSB and SJU have the financial base to support their operations and to sustain them in the future. The move to a single leader will result in cost savings due to efficiencies realized from the institutions more strongly integrating their operations. Currently, CSB and SJU are financially stable and have a demonstrated history of financial health, as most recently evidenced by their U.S. Department of Education Financial Responsibility Composite Scores. On a scale from negative 1.0 to positive 3.0, each received a 3, the highest score possible, for the most recent award year. These scores take into account the financial position (i.e., assets, debt, net assets), liquid assets, and operating income and expenses of each institution. CSB’s and SJU’s scores reflect overall financial strength and appropriate debt levels. Significantly, the proposed change in structure will not alter the financial health of the institutions that are reflected in these composite scores. CSB has consistently improved its financial base through increased gifts to the endowment and annual fund, prudent management of the budget, and transfers



SOLID FINANCIAL HEALTH (CONT.) to reserves. Over the last decade, net assets have increased by 93%, rising from $112 million to $216.5 million. For the current year, the college’s operating budget is $59.5M and the current endowment value is $111 million. Three sources of revenue provide the primary support for the educational and general budget: net tuition and fees (69%), endowment and annual fund (14%), and auxiliary operations (12.5%). CSB has regularly produced operating budget surpluses at fiscal year-end through prudent budget management. As of June 30, 2021, CSB had a total of $41.7M in longterm debt. Last fall, Moody’s reaffirmed CSB’s Baa1 rating with a change to a negative outlook from stable. The September 2020 Moody’s report noted that the CSB’s strategic alignment with SJU and CSB’s fiscal stewardship and conservative budgeting practices were reflected in strengthening operating cash flow, good growth of cash and investments, and manageable proforma debt service.

SJU has also consistently improved its financial base through increased gifts to the endowment and annual fund, prudent management of the budget, and transfers to reserves. Over the last decade, net assets have increased by 83%, rising from $254 million to $464 million. SJU is composed of four selfsustaining divisions: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Theology, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, and Artist in Residence. SJU’s combined operating budget for the current year is $71 million, and the current endowment stands at $278 million. Three sources of revenue provide the primary support for the educational and general budget: net tuition and fees (64%), endowment and private gifts and grants (24%) and auxiliary operations (7%). SJU has consistently produced operating budget surpluses at fiscal year-end through prudent budget management. As of June 30, 2021, SJU had a total of $51.6M in long-term debt.


The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University—long-standing partners in providing students the benefits of a larger university and the personal attention of an exceptional liberal arts college--seek an inaugural single leader to provide leadership for both institutions. This is an opportunity for a visionary leader energized by the possibility to lead already strong institutions to the forefront of American higher education. The president will build upon the four pillars that represent the foundation of both institutions –a residential education grounded in the liberal arts in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions. This moment is an ideal opportunity for a transformational, forward-looking leader to build on that foundation and to integrate the best qualities of CSB and SJU into something greater than the simple sum of both. A preliminary leadership agenda includes: 1. Development and execution of a bold, compelling strategic plan that furthers educational excellence, and development of the whole student. CSB and SJU enjoy well-deserved reputations for delivering transformational educational experiences in a unique learning


environment. The next leader will advance that legacy in a rapidly changing higher education environment. Both institutions are well positioned to develop a forward-looking, differentiated strategic focus that galvanizes stakeholder groups (students, faculty, staff, alums, Monastic communities, etc.), cultivates a clear sense of shared vision for the future, and creates the kind of long-term traction necessary to sustain deep success. Importantly, this focus will pursue opportunities for the institutions to move forward together in new and exciting ways while preserving the essential elements of each. Through engagement with key stakeholder groups, this president will articulate a shared and inspirational vision for CSB and SJU together that is congruent with their respective missions, values, and traditions, while differentiating the institutions from other colleges and universities. The president will have the opportunity to engage the campus communities and stakeholders in a process that builds on the four pillars, responds to (better yet, anticipates) emerging opportunities and challenges, outlines specific action steps to guide execution, and results in growing strength along a number of dimensions (including financial, enrollment, student success, diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice, etc.).


LEADERSHIP AGENDA AND QUALIFICATIONS (CONT.) Translating strategic thinking into action will be an essential part of this work. The transitional leaders of the institutions have pursued a streamlined reporting structure that will allow the inaugural president to be externally focused, forward looking, and future oriented, while ensuring that the daily operations of the campuses are carried out effectively. Building a strong, unified senior leadership team will, therefore, be an early priority for the new president. 2. Advance the goals of greater unity and shared purpose while maintaining the distinctive character and mission of each institution. This new leadership model is not intended as a step toward a merger between the institutions—each has something important to offer to its students and the broader society, and the unique educational arrangement that has been intentionally created over the past five decades provides positive differentiation in a crowded and competitive student marketplace. In particular, preserving and advancing the role played by each institution in cultivating women’s and men’s leadership remains essential. The overarching purpose of the move to a single leader is to create new strategic opportunities—to create a whole greater than the sum of the parts. In addition to this primary goal, a number of other positive outcomes are expected: greater alignment of efforts between the institutions, a single voice that can speak on behalf of the shared elements of vision and mission between the institutions, efficiencies that allow for greater investment in strategic priorities, and an environment in which each institution has appropriate latitude to create living and learning environments for women and men (and, importantly, those who may self-identify


in a way different from one of those binary choices). The president and leadership team will define the ways in which those principles are carried out—which situations call for greater integration or perhaps standardization, and which are best left for some discretion on each campus considering their unique missions and cultures. Importantly, the president will be a brand champion—someone who is a visible, enthusiastic, trusted spokesperson for the institutions, and who understands and supports nascent efforts to build a more robust communications and marketing structure that defines and conveys the distinctiveness of these institutions. 3. Develop a financial model that strengthens the resource base, invests resources wisely, and represents a strategic approach to resource allocation. Though the institutions have not been immune to the pressures on enrollment and finances experienced throughout higher education, each retains a strong financial position. The revenue base at both institutions is built upon enrollment and philanthropy; consequently, growing enrollment, net revenue, and the endowment are early and important priorities. In addition to having robust systems for recruitment, retention, and fundraising, success in enrollment and philanthropy requires articulating and delivering on distinctive educational experiences as well as developing a compelling vision for the future. As the primary face of the institutions, the incoming president will ensure each of those elements is in place. The formation of a compelling vision and strategy will also create a point of departure for the optimal allocation of resources (financial, human,


LEADERSHIP AGENDA AND QUALIFICATIONS (CONT.) technological, capital, etc.) to achieve the goals of the respective institutions. The academic affairs area at CSB/SJU is currently undergoing an academic program prioritization process to create greater alignment between academic offerings and current (and future) student interest while remaining faithful to providing a premier liberal arts education in the Catholic and Benedictine traditions. The incoming president will receive a comprehensive report, developed by a cross-functional group from academic affairs, that will outline potential steps to that end. In addition to stewardship of existing activities, the long-term success of the institutions also requires pursuing promising academic programs and co-curricular activities consistent with their strengths and missions. The inaugural president will work to cultivate an environment of innovation and calculated risk-taking that includes the willingness to attempt new ventures, to sustain investment in initiatives, and to continue to make such strategic moves even in the face of initiatives that do not turn out as anticipated (as some inevitably will). 4. Strengthen a culture of trust, transparency, and inclusion. This is a moment of exceptional change at both institutions. Though that change has been envisioned in recent years and builds on a 50-year tradition of joint delivery of academic programs, it is nonetheless a moment that calls for a leader adept in change management. The incoming president will benefit from exceptionally talented faculty and staff deeply committed to the missions of each institution and the work they do together. The communities


have been through extensive transition in recent years, and the successful candidate will bring a high level of emotional intelligence to their work in listening, uniting, and giving voice. This work must be carried out in parallel with taking steps toward the other parts of the agenda, not as a precursor to them. This person will, therefore, build trust and unity even as they begin to pursue action, and will make decisions in a transparent and inclusive manner that further engenders greater trust and energizes faculty and staff. The successful candidate will also engage directly with students at both institutions, serving as an active participant in the life of each campus. This transition also occurs at a moment when issues of inclusion and justice are at the forefront for higher education and American society. Though external events have heightened the visibility of these topics, both institutions have long-standing commitments to access, inclusion, justice, and sustainability that emerge from the Benedictine value of community and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The campus communities—from the students to governing bodies—aspire to a remarkably wide embrace of all dimensions of human diversity and sustainability, and they expect a leader with a similarly inclusive worldview. That perspective will serve as a point of departure for accelerating existing efforts toward creating learning communities which reflect the rich diversity of the broader world and where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds and identities feel fully welcome.



The first joint president will be Catholic and bring a successful track record of leadership experience, including development of a high performing team; financial management (stewardship, investment, revenue generation, budget oversight, etc.); and strategic thinking, planning, and action leading to improved organizational performance. An earned terminal degree is preferred. In addition to meeting these requirements, the successful candidate will bring many of the highly valued competencies, experiences, characteristics, and qualifications listed below: •

Executive Leadership: Collaborative and decisive, with a capacity to lead, navigate, and achieve results under conditions of ambiguity and uncertainty. Ability to listen and empathize, to think critically and creatively, to solve problems, and to manage conflicts and crises. Demonstrated willingness to challenge the status quo. Thinks strategically and can translate that thought into action. Demonstrated experience in providing strategic direction that results in improved institutional performance. Experience in higher education preferred, as is experience at the presidential or cabinet level.

Higher Education: A deep commitment to a liberal arts education, an understanding of its history and traditions, with experience in pursuing a modern, robust, and re-envisioned future for the liberal arts in America. Conversant with higher education’s financial issues, experienced in budget management, and allocation of resources to achieve strategic goals. Skilled in working in an environment of shared governance, particularly with the Board and faculty.

Relationship Building and Communication: The ability to develop, cultivate, and maintain effective partnership with the Monastic communities (Saint John’s Abbey, Saint Benedict Monastery) and their other ministries (including the Liturgical Press and Prep School). An accessible member of the community able to engage with a wide variety of constituents, including faculty, administrators, staff, alumni/ae, and students of both institutions. Possess superior communication skills (written, oral, interpersonal), marked by simplicity, clarity, and understanding. Adept at building relationships with current supporters and potential partners in philanthropy.


Campus Culture: Knowledge of human development (including the implications of gender identity for carrying out this work), and the skills to create campus environments and student experiences that allow students and alumni to thrive and be successful in the global community. Demonstrated evidence of a commitment to and advocacy for diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ), with a strong track record of leading successful efforts at the organizational level.

Catholic/Benedictine: Conversant with the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and a willing public advocate for its place in liberal arts education. Strong knowledge of, understanding of, and enthusiasm for the Catholic, Benedictine character, mission, and identity of the institutions, modeled in the president’s leadership.

Personal Characteristics: An individual whose presence and persona are inspiring, trusting, authentic, positive, and passionate; a leadership style that empowers people and organizations. Exceptional emotional intelligence and change leadership skills. A leader able to unite, align, mobilize, and empower, with demonstrated experience in creating a high performing team and culture. Bold, creative, innovative, and flexible.


APPLICATIONS, INQUIRIES, AND NOMINATIONS Academic Search is assisting CSB/SJU in this national search. Confidential conversations about this exciting opportunity may be arranged by contacting the Senior Consultants leading this search: Maya Kirkhope, schedule a call through Bookings, or email

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employers. We strive to attract and retain a talented, diverse workforce. Women, people of diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Scott Flanagan, schedule a call through Bookings, or email Applications, inquiries, and nominations may be sent to When submitting a nomination, please include the nominee’s full name, title, institution, and email address. Applications should consist of 1) a detailed letter of interest, addressing the leadership agenda and qualifications listed in this profile and 2) a full and current curriculum vitae (CV). For full consideration, applications should be submitted by Monday, January 3, 2022. Additional information about the institution may be found at



ABOUT ACADEMIC SEARCH Academic Search is assisting the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in this work. For more than four decades, Academic Search has offered executive search services to higher education institutions, associations, and related organizations. Academic Search was founded by higher education leaders on the principle that we provide the most value to partner institutions by combining best practices with our deep knowledge and experience. Our mission today is to enhance institutional capacity by providing outstanding executive recruitment services, executive coaching, and transition support, in partnership with our parent organization, the American Academic Leadership Institute. For more information, visit

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