Board chair announces Presidential Search Committee to begin review of presidential applications

November 23, 2020

Dear Carlow University Community,

I am pleased to share an update on the presidential search. Tremendous progress has been made since President Suzanne Mellon announced her retirement on October 16. Our search partners from Academic Search engaged the full Carlow community in a series of meetings and an online feedback survey to gather valuable input and insight to help inform the search. Working collaboratively with the Presidential Search Committee, they developed a presidential search prospectus to provide an overview of Carlow, outline key priorities and institutional needs and describe the desired characteristics for the next president. We are grateful to the nearly 350 members of the Carlow University community who provided input and suggestions that have helped us prepare to launch the search.

The presidential search prospectus (view or download the prospectus [pdf]) is now on Carlow’s website and will accompany advertising used to introduce Carlow University and the presidential opportunity to prospects and candidates. Advertising will run in a number of venues including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Education, Hispanic Outlook, Inside Higher Ed, and Women in Higher Education. The search consultants also will be contacting potential candidates through their broad networks and encouraging them to apply.

The presidential search process highlighted that it was necessary to, and the Board of Trustees has approved, a change to our bylaws to ensure current compliance with Title VII, specifically, that our choice of president be gender neutral. In the course of this process, we were informed by Dr. Moya Dittmeier, Executive Director of the Conference on Mercy Higher Education, that Carlow was the only institution in the 17 member conference that had a gender requirement in their bylaws.

The coming months will be a critical time for recruitment of prospects into the candidate pool. While the recruitment of candidates is the responsibility of our search partners at Academic Search, the success of our search will depend on the involvement, support and interest of the entire Carlow community. Therefore, you are invited and encouraged to confidentially nominate possible candidates by completing the online nomination form.

The Presidential Search Committee will begin its review of applications early in the new year, working toward naming Carlow University’s 11th president in the spring. Search-related communications will be quiet through the holidays and January as recruitment continues. I will be in touch to provide you with an update in early February as the applicant deadline of February 8 approaches.

These are uncertain times, but I know Carlow University is a remarkable institution, grounded in our mission and fortified and enhanced by a strong plan for our future. I am excited about the path ahead and have confidence this search will bring us a dynamic, innovative new leader who will advance and strengthen Carlow for the future. Thank you for participating in this important journey.

I wish you and those you love a safe and happy holiday season.


Dorothy A. Davis, JD

Chair, Board of Trustees

Chair, Presidential Search Committee

Class of 1978

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