In 2020, St. John’s University, a Catholic and Vincentian institution, celebrates 150 years of contributing to the betterment of the lives of its students and the communities it serves. One of the nation’s most diverse higher education institutions headquartered in the most pluralistic borough in the world’s most important financial center, St. John’s is ranked as one of the top universities in the nation for social mobility in a recent study in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The University is well positioned to play a role in the great social moments that are emerging across society, and at this time of tremendous institutional momentum the University seeks a president to lead its efforts to have an even greater impact on its students and the world around them.
Building on the successful work of its retiring president, St. John’s University is searching for a leader to galvanize the University community around a vision for its immediate and longer-term future. The successful candidate will therefore possess a comprehensive understanding of the current circumstances of American higher education. Demonstrating significant leadership and managerial experience in a complex setting, ideally in higher education, St. John’s next president will be a superior communicator and relationship builder with a leadership style that emphasizes inclusivity, transparency and collaboration. Experience with unionized workforces, especially faculty, is highly desirable. The ideal candidate will possess a record of teaching, scholarship and service commensurate with an appointment to the St. John’s faculty at the rank of professor; candidates with analogous experience in a similarly complex setting will be considered. In addition, the president should have a personal record of contributing substantively to social justice, especially to antiracism, diversity, equity and inclusion. The president must be an active Catholic and, most importantly, must resonate deeply with the University’s Vincentian mission, values and charisms, including especially its dedication to serving the underrepresented and underprivileged.
Over recent years, St. John’s has done the difficult work of streamlining its operations, reducing its debt, enhancing its advancement efforts and augmenting its enrollments with success in both recruitment and retention of students. Surrounded by vibrant corporate and non-profit organizations, the University is in the optimal position to create partnerships that provide opportunities for students and faculty, to provide mission-centric support for worthy institutions and to diversify the University’s revenue streams. St. John’s new president will thus inherit an enviable platform on which to build to a successful future for this storied institution.
Inquiries, nominations and applications are invited. A description of the position can be found at www.wittkieffer.com. Recruitment will continue until the position is filled, and applications are encouraged by September 4, 2020 for fullest consideration. Interested parties may apply via the WittKieffer Candidate Portal. Applications should include, as separate documents, a CV or resume and a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile. For more information, questions or nominations, please contact St. John’s consultants, Dennis Barden, Greg Duyck and Sarah Miller at: StJohnsPresident@wittkieffer.com.
Consistent with its mission as a Catholic, Vincentian, Metropolitan, and Global institution of higher education, St. John’s University abides by all applicable federal, state, and local laws, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, gender, gender identity, sex (including sexual harassment and sexual violence), sexual orientation, marital status, alienage, citizenship status, status as a victim of domestic violence, genetic predisposition or carrier status, status in the uniformed services of the United States (including veteran status), or any other characteristic protected by law. The University also abides by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The University’s policy of nondiscrimination extends to employment opportunities, admission of students to its programs, and to the administration of its educational policies, scholarships, loan programs, athletics, and other institutionally administered programs or activities generally made available to students at the University.