The first step in the Presidential Search Committee’s work was to launch a public input process, through which members of the Marquette community could offer insight into the characteristics and qualifications needed in the 23rd President of Marquette University. More than 500 people responded to this call for input, attending on-campus Listening Sessions or submitting an Online Input Form.
Based on that process, and on its own deliberations about leadership needs, the Board of Trustees formally approved a Presidential Profile at its May meeting. The Profile describes the Academic Qualifications, Leadership Qualifications, Professional Characteristics and Experience, and Personal Attributes sought in the 23rd President of Marquette University.
Marquette University’s bylaws currently require a Jesuit president. At this point, the Board of Trustees is seeking a member of the Society of Jesus for the position.
As current Marquette President Robert A. Wild, S.J., has noted many times, the reduced number of Jesuit priests suggests that a time will come when Marquette, like many religiously affiliated institutions, will likely name a lay person as president. According to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, seven of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States are now led by non-Jesuits.
However, after careful consideration and discussion of the current requirements, the Board concluded that, at this time, the pool of qualified Jesuit candidates appears to be large enough to attract a Jesuit to serve as president.
Father Wild announced his retirement on March 4, 2010, 15 months in advance of its effective date, June 30, 2011, in order to give the board ample time for a thorough and professional search for the next Marquette President.
The Search Committee will use the remainder of the spring semester for soliciting campus and other stakeholder input before beginning the confidential process of identifying potential Jesuit candidates for the position.
A new president is expected to be named during the 2010-11 academic year and would likely take office on July 1, 2011. Current Marquette President Father Wild has said that he would serve until the position is filled, if necessary.
All members of the Marquette community—faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents—are invited to participate in one of several listening sessions on the characteristics and experiences sought in the next Marquette President.
In addition, the Search Committee plans several small-group meetings with key stakeholders. These include, among others, the University Academic Senate, University Leadership Council, the MUAA National Board and the Marquette University Student Government.
Those unable to participate in a listening session in person are invited to submit their thoughts online. Online input will be accepted until April 14, 2010.