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Photo by Maria Levandoski, Photo Editor.

Dr. Nyre’s on sabbatical, with Dr. Passerini as Interim President. Now what?

Seton Hall’s 21st President Dr. Joseph Nyre announced his sabbatical for the 2023-24 academic year on July 24, after which he will relinquish his position. 

“I will always remember my years at the University with great fondness, and wish everyone health, happiness and success,” he said in an email announcement.

Dr. Katia Passerini, who was the University Provost, was then appointed to serve as Interim President while the search for the University’s 22nd president is underway. Through an email announcement on July 25, Passerini said she is “confident we will unite in steering the University’s sails toward greater distinction.”

So, what happens now?

The University bylaws state that the process to form the committee for the University president’s search begins at least 12 months before the expiration of the current president’s term. The search and screen committee consists of 10 members – three from the Board of Trustees, three from the Board of Regents, one member of the Priest Community, two faculty members, and one University vice president. 

Each member of the committee is chosen by various individuals. Either the president of the Board of Regents or the chair of the Board of Trustees appoints the three trustees and one priest. In the search for the University’s 22nd president, Trustees Rev. John Chadwick, Chair of the Board of Regents Henry “Hank” D’Alessandro, the Regents’ Secretary Robert Sloan and Fr. Gerald Buonopane was chosen.

The Chair of the Board of Regents, in this case D’Alessandro, appoints the three Regent members to the committee. Those who were chosen are Edward Cerny, Michael Lucciola and Stephen Waldis.

The Board of Regents chooses the University vice president for the search and screen committee, in which it will be Dr. Alyssa McCloud, senior vice president for enrollment management.

“As part of the committee charged with identifying the next president,” McCloud said, “I very much look forward to this process and the future of Seton Hall. We are a university of opportunity and the opportunities that new leadership can bring to us now are exciting.” 

The Provost, Interim Provost Erik Lillquist, chooses the two faculty members. For this search, Dr. Kelly Goedert, professor and chair of the Psychology Department, and Dr. Philip Moremen, associate professor and department chair for the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, have been appointed.

“The committee for the presidential search has been duly constituted and charged,” said Lillquist, who is also executive vice president. “And it will now begin the process of finding and recommending to the Board of Regents our next president in accord with the bylaws. We stand on the verge of a new era and are poised to show – again – what great minds can do at Seton Hall.” 

And lastly, either the president of the Board of Regents or the chair of the Board of Trustees chooses the chair of the search and screen committee, which has yet to be announced.

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The newly formed committee gathered at the annual Board of Regents retreat on Sept. 30, in which they began to assemble a group of “highly qualified” candidates to recommend to the Regents, according to Sept. 29 email announcement from the Board.

University bylaws dictate the University president is to always be a Roman Catholic priest, however an exception can be made if the individual is a practicing Roman Catholic.

“I look forward to the University community’s support as the search for Seton Hall’s 22nd president continues,” said D’Alessandro.

On Oct. 10, Passerini sent out an email announcement describing the retreat as a “tremendous success.”

“It is going to be a year of transition but also one of transformation,” she said. “As we engage in the search for Seton Hall’s 22nd president, we remain committed to fulfilling the ambitious goals we articulated in our [Harvest Our Treasures] plan.”

Emma Thumann can be reached at


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