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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Presidential search committee hosts listening session for students

Associate Vice President Sarah Quinn, MBA (left) and Board of Trustees member Margaret Hondros, MBA (middle) talked to students at the listening session. PHOTO: KEELY GALLAGHER ’23/THE HAWK

The St. Joe’s Presidential Search Committee invited students to a listening session Sept. 23 to provide feedback on the presidential search. 

The session was run by Associate Vice President Sarah F. Quinn ’89, ’09, MBA and search committee members Vice President for Mission and Ministry Daniel R. J. Joyce, S.J. ’88 and member of the Board of Trustees Margaret K. Hondros H’16, MBA.

“It is important to hear directly from university community members in order to craft the best possible job description for the position of president and to have a better sense of what SJU needs now and into the immediate future by way of leadership,” wrote Joyce in response to written questions from The Hawk. 

The Presidential Search Committee is composed of Board of Trustee members as well as students, staff and faculty. The committee plans to post the job description after the listening sessions have concluded, and hopes to hire the next president by the summer of 2023.

During the listening session, Joyce and Hondros posed questions to the students present about what they are looking for in future leadership and what challenges they think the next president will face. 

The common sentiment was that students wanted a president who is personable and understands the community as well as takes the initiative to get involved in the community. 

“I think the new president is going to have to be relatable and is genuinely here for the care and well being of the institution,” said Thomas Vetterli ’24, who attended the listening session. “So I think that the president should really be observant to the needs of the student body and the staff here.” 

Grace Heller ’26, who also attended, said she would like to see a president who is transparent. 

“I feel like we, as students, have a right to know what’s going on and know in a timely manner, and to a great extent, I want them to be very honest with us and very open and make that a priority,” Heller said.

Another point of emphasis was on how the future president would handle the ongoing merger between St. Joe’s and USciences. Students suggested ideal candidates would have backgrounds handling mergers either in academia or the business sector.

“I think our new president will have to help with the identity crisis SJU is currently going through,” wrote Gabby Santos, Student Senate vice president, in response to written questions from The Hawk, after she attended the listening session. “Since the merger, many underclassmen on both campuses are unsure about how to feel and it is important that the president addresses this. SJU has a huge opportunity to expand their academic programs, so I would challenge the new president to have an open mind and try to incorporate new and improved programs.” 

The next listening session, this one for faculty only, will take place Sept. 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the Foley Center on the Hawk Hill campus.

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