The official job description for the next St. Thomas president has been published and nominations and applications are now being accepted, and it looks more possible that, for the first time in school history, the next president will not be a priest.
The university’s bylaws require the president be a Roman Catholic. The job listing makes clear that a candidate with previous leadership experience at a university will have an advantage. No preference for priests or other religious leaders is mentioned in the listing.
The university has established a website for the position, which includes information about the university as well as a complete profile of the role and responsibilities expected of the person who will succeed Father Dennis Dease. He announced he will retire June 30, 2013, after 22 years as president.
“I am confident we will have a strong pool of candidates,” Dean of Students and search committee member Karen Lange said. “I am looking forward to the process and, like the other members of the search committee, am committed to identifying the best possible candidate for the position.”
Anyone can submit a nomination for the position and all nominations will be treated confidentially. Information on how to make a submission can be found at the presidential search website.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Father Dease and think he has been a wonderful president,” Lange said. “As the university searches for our next president, I certainly think it is important to select someone who is committed to the university’s mission and convictions.”
Doug Hennes, vice president of university and government relations, said the committee expects to identify semifinalists by October and interview the candidates in early November. After the finalists are selected, the committee will recommend a candidate to the Board of Trustees by the end of 2012.
Kristopher Jobe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.