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SHU takes strides toward finding new president

At the end of September, Seton Hall’s Board of Regents acquired the services of Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a national search firm, for the university’s presidential search committee. The firm focuses on executive searches for education and nonprofit organizations. [caption id="attachment_24535" align="aligncenter" width="838"] Aly Torres/Staff Photographer[/caption] The search firm, a woman and minority owned firm, dedicates itself to developing “a diverse and excellent candidate pool for every search we lead,” according to the firm’s website. Dr. Karen Boroff, Interim Provost, said that searches for tenure-track faculty, deans, provosts and presidents in higher education requires about a year. These executive searches typically begin in the fall and institutions plan to fill the position by the summer prior to the new academic year, according to Boroff. Last year, University By-laws declared that the presidential candidate must be a Roman Catholic priest. Since then, the By-laws have been adopted. According to the University by-laws, “The President of the University shall always be a Roman Catholic priest, provided, however, that the Board of Trustees hereby grants an exception to this requirement to permit the Board of Regents to elect and appoint a practicing Roman Catholic lay President in 2019.” The Presidential Search and Screen Committee must form 12 months prior to the expiration of the current President’s term. The Board of Trustees will begin the process and form the committee. According to the University by-laws, the committee consists of “ten members, three of whom shall be Trustees, three of whom shall be Regents, one of whom shall be a member of the Priest Community, one of whom shall be a Vice President of the University, and two of whom shall be members of the faculty.” Dr. Mary Balkun, member of the Presidential Search Committee and director of Faculty Development, said in an email interview that the president should be a person with leadership experience, proven commitment and an outstanding record. “Our next President should value the liberal arts and understand their centrality to a well-rounded education,” Balkun wrote. “He or she should be able to work with a variety of constituencies, be able to listen carefully to others, be committed to the Catholic values of social justice and equity for all people and have the skills and experience to be able to help us become the best institution we can possibly be, especially for our students.” Boroff described Seton Hall’s storied past regarding presidents and their emphasis on service. “Seton Hall University has been blessed to have effective presidents over its storied history. Each one brought unique characteristics and abilities; nonetheless, congruent with our mission, all were servant leaders,” Boroff said. Thomas Schwartz can be reached at


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