Former Seton Hall senior administrator and alumna Dr. Mary Meehan has been named Seton Hall University’s interim president.
She will be the University’s first female president.
The Board of Regents unanimously made the appointment, according to a statement from Patrick M. Murray, Chairman of the Board of Regents, on March 23. Meehan will step into the role on April 11 to allow outgoing president A. Gabriel Esteban to focus on his transition to DePaul University.
“Dr. Meehan is an excellent choice to continue leading Seton Hall forward. She is a strong and talented higher education executive who knows this University well and is prepared to lead on day one,” Esteban said in the statement. “As I spend the next few months preparing for my next professional chapter at DePaul, I wish Dr. Meehan all of the best.”
Meehan served as the president of Alverno College, a Catholic women’s college in Wisconsin, for more than 12 years. Overall, she has spent more than 30 years in leadership positions at higher education and healthcare institutions.
A Seton Hall alumna and one of the first women to attend Seton Hall’s main campus, Meehan earned her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. at Seton Hall. Prior to her time at Alverno College, she served as SHU’s Vice President and Assistant to the President from 1996-2001 and was SHU’s first female Executive Vice President for Administration from 2001-2004.
Meehan expressed her delight to be returning to her alma mater and said that her knowledge of the university and extensive background in higher education and healthcare made her “a good fit” for the position, with the opening of the medical school approaching.
“Having worked in healthcare administration for many years, it also means a great deal to me to help the campus prepare for the opening of the medical school,” Meehan told The Setonian. “Most important to me is the opportunity to work with faculty and staff to create the best possible experience for our students.”
— The Setonian (@Setonian) March 23, 2017
Meehan explained that Murray contacted her about the position, and the process included interviews with Regents and meeting with Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop of Newark.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Meehan back to Seton Hall University and thank her for agreeing to serve in this important role to help ensure a seamless transition to the next chapter of leadership for Seton Hall,” Tobin said in the statement.
Tobin is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees and President of the Board of Regents.
In addition to Meehan’s appointment, Murray also announced that the Board of Regents has given the search for the University’s next president the go-ahead.
Meehan said that she is not a candidate for the permanent position, nor will she be involved in the search process. Meehan explained that the Board of Regents will select a higher education search firm to help conduct the search process, which is laid out in detail in the University bylaws.
“It is a very special honor to serve during this transition period as the university searches for our next president,” Meehan said. “The very nature of an interim presidency is to prepare for the permanent president. I was not seeking another presidency, but am thrilled to be part of this extraordinary university during these exciting days of transition.”
Brianna Bernath can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.