Please be informed that the Board has initiated the search process to identify President Mordechai Rozanski’s successor upon his retirement from Rider University, effective July 31, 2015. In his recent letter to the Rider Community, Gary L. Shapiro, Chair of the Board of Trustees, officially thanked President Rozanski for his outstanding leadership of the University and appointed me to lead the search to select his successor. I am honored to accept that responsibility, and wanted to share details about the search process and how the progress of the search will be shared with the campus community.
The single most important duty of the Board is the appointment of the President of Rider University. While the ultimate responsibility for the selection of a new president lies with the Board of Trustees, I and my colleagues on the Board are committed to having a broad-based search committee that will participate actively in the process and provide valuable advice on behalf of the University community.
As a result, the Search Committee will include representatives from the faculty, administration, staff along with Trustees, a number of whom will be Rider alumni. In this regard, the composition of the Committee and its operations will reflect the best practice guidelines of the Association of Governing Boards.
I expect to announce the members of the Search Committee by the end of the month and hold its first meeting in early March. We will subsequently convene meetings with different constituent groups on both campuses to seek advice about the position attributes in relation to Rider’s needs and future direction. The schedule for these constituent meetings will be announced in March and listed on the Presidential Search page of Rider’s website, which we will soon develop. This website will provide appropriate updates about the search progress for the Rider community and information about the University and the position profile for prospective candidates.
The Board has hired Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates (SP&A) to assist the Search Committee. SP&A is a nationally recognized executive search firm specializing in senior level searches for colleges and universities. The firm has worked with some of the country’s leading colleges and universities, including Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, the University of California, Swarthmore, California State University, and others. Steve Leo, a partner with the firm, will lead its participation. Steve assisted in the successful search that brought Dr. DonnaJean Fredeen to Rider as our new Provost. Christine Zelenak, Director of the Office of the President and Executive Assistant to the President, will provide staff support to the search process.
Confidentiality in the initial stages of our search is absolutely essential to attracting the best possible candidates. For that reason, much of the early search activity, especially as it relates to the nomination, application and initial review of candidates, will not be publicly disseminated. Of course, the open process will resume once finalists have been selected. This stage will involve public presentations by the finalists and meetings with various constituent groups including students. Feedback about the finalists from members of the campus community will be carefully considered by the Search Committee and, subsequently, by the Board of Trustees, which will make the ultimate hiring decision.
I look forward to receiving the University community’s counsel and insights throughout the search, and remain confident that the Board will continue to rely on and benefit from the spirit of collegiality that has been the hallmark of Rider University.