Saint Louis University

I write today to provide Saint Louis University faculty, staff and students with an update on the presidential search process.

This summer, at my direction, Vice President for Academic Affairs Ellen Harshman, Ph.D., J.D., and General Counsel Bill Kauffman, J.D., have been working to study and to develop a "white paper" on best practices for presidential searches.

The data collected will also include information about searches conducted recently at other Jesuit institutions. Additionally, a Request for Proposals has gone out to several national search firms that have had success in recruiting executives for complex higher education institutions like SLU, and responses are being received in the General Counsel's Office.

I have already received significant input from my fellow trustees and many others about the search. We have also taken the opportunity to talk with some experts in presidential searches about how our search process can be most successful, and have included the leaders of campus stakeholder groups in some of these meetings.

Later this month, I will review draft recommendations about the search process with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees and refine them as needed. I expect to have a final plan - including use of a search firm, the appointment of the search committee and the committee chair, a timeline, and an overview of the search process - ready to present to the Executive Committee of the Board at its September meeting, and to the full Board on September 28, 2013. Assuming Board approval, the search would officially launch on September 29, 2013.

We will communicate additional information to the University community after the Board meets, and there will be regular communications to the University community throughout the search process, which we know will take several months.

As I have said to all who have asked me, it is most important that we make the right decision, however long that takes. Ultimately, the final decision on selection of the next president rests with the Board of Trustees; and it is a responsibility that all Board members take very, very seriously.

It is my wish that the search process be as open and inclusive as it can be, and that we work together to find the best possible person to lead this great institution in the years ahead.

I appreciate all that you do for SLU and for your interest in this very important process.


J. Joe Adorjan
Chairman, Board of Trustees