Seton Hall University continues to search for its new President, and to assist with the search. It has hired the Storbeck/Pimentel consultants.
On Nov 16, the Storbeck/Pimentel team will be visiting campus to gather information for the development of the leadership profile for the next President.
Student Government Association President Rishi Shah, who also served on the Presidential Search Committee last year, shared his thoughts about student input in selecting a new President. Although the Presidential candidates he witnessed last year had not been selected, Shah does believe in the power of student input.
“None of those candidates were picked, but I served alongside other students. I don’t think my opinion will be make or break, but I do think it will be accounted for. I don’t think it will be wasted,” Shah said.
Student input may not weigh as much as that of individuals who hold more governance, but recent times on campus may make it more powerful.
“I did think student input is accounted for,” Shah said. I think it weighs less than other administrators or other “higher-ups.” Sometimes I do think it’s formality, but I do think after all these protests and things like that, our input would be very valid.”
Ronald Babiak, a sophomore finances and business major and Student Government Association, At-Large Senator and Finance Committee Chairman, agrees with Shah about the University’s value of student input.
“I believe that the University will take our input into consideration given the fact that the University does not want a potential repeat of the events of last week with protests from other disenfranchised groups on campus like Concerned 44,” he explained. “Therefore, they will select a president that will be quick to respond to the issues posed by students and be empathetic to their causes as well.”
He understands why the University has taken some time to make their decision.
“I would rather the University take their time and do their due diligence before selecting someone and make the right decision the first time,” he remarked.
Emma Murphy, a junior Secondary Education major and an Education Senator and Academic Affairs Committee Chair in Student Government Association, encourages those involved with selecting the President to consider what students have to say.
“I cannot speak on behalf of the university about whether or not administration will take student input into consideration,” Murphy said in an email. “However, I would compel them to take time during the selection process to reach out to students, as many can provide really valuable statements,”
Murphy sees the value in diverse representation for those who select the University President.
“It is important that Seton Hall students, faculty, and religious community feels that the future president lives and works through the university mission,” she explained. “As people who will see this enacted every day, we should have input regarding who the community as a whole feels will serve Seton Hall best. Regarding the amount of time it has taken, I feel as though the timeline proves how dedicated the university administration is to finding a candidate who will live the Seton Hall mission every day.”
Madeline Pfaff, a junior majoring in Elementary and Special Education and English, is unsure about finding an individual who can meet student needs.
“I’d like to think so, but I also think that it’s hard to find someone to match the needs of everyone on campus. I hope they manage to choose someone that fits as many needs as possible,” Pfaff said in an email.
Kevin Marino, the Chair of the Presidential Search Committee of the SHU Board of Regents, explained the relevance of hearing from students in the process.
“We value and expect to receive considerable student input in this process,” Marino said in an email.
He cannot provide details about the search.
“The highly regarded search firm the University has engaged, Storbeck/Pimentel, is working diligently and cooperatively with the Search Committee, but will not be publicly discussing the search,” Marino said.
Rishi Patel, junior business administration and finance major considered the criteria the University has for the selection of University President.
“Personally, I think they’re taking so long is the fact there is so much criteria that needs to be filled, especially because we are a Catholic university. I’m not sure I can speak about the last interview process, but I hope they do change criteria just so we can open up the candidate pool,” Patel explained. “ For example, Dr. Meehan technically can’t be our President because she is not in the Church and she is female, but if we do open the criteria to allow females, I do think this process would be much easier.”
Kaitlyn Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.