Position Overview

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Misericordia University, a small comprehensive institution in Dallas, Pennsylvania, founded by the Sisters of Mercy, invites expressions of interest, nominations, and applications for the position of president. 

Misericordia seeks an innovative new president who is an experienced and successful leader in higher education and who is grounded in liberal arts education and the charisms of the Sisters of Mercy.  The successful candidate will have the privilege of leading a strongly mission-driven institution that is financially sound, that operates with budget surpluses, and that has recently seen a renovation and expansion of its facilities, epitomized by the nearly-completed, state-of-the-art, $45-million Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Science Building.  The new president will also have the opportunity to continue the strong fundraising effort that is currently concluding a $30-million campaign, Now for Tomorrow,  $7 million over its goal.

Founded in 1924 by the Sisters of Mercy as a college for women, Misericordia is now a small co-educational comprehensive university composed of colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Health Sciences and Education.  It offers 37 baccalaureate majors as well as master’s degrees in business, education, and health sciences.  It also offers doctoral degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.  Programs in business, education, and the health sciences are available online.  Misericordia enrolls 1964 undergraduate and 580 graduate students who are taught by 144 full-time faculty.  Partnering with Orbis Education, it has just recently added a satellite campus in Pittsburgh for its nursing program.  

Misericordia has retained a strong sense of its mission, and the Mercy Charisms of mercy, service, justice, and hospitality pervade the life of the University—administration, faculty, staff, students, board, and alumni.  This, mixed with strong commitments to academic excellence and liberal arts education and seasoned by a 10:1 student faculty ratio, enables Misericordia to provide a powerfully transformative experience for its students.  In-class learning is enhanced by a strong service-learning program, an active and comprehensive campus ministry program, a growing student-faculty research program, and an NCAA Division III athletic program.  The effects of this ethos can be seen not only in the students themselves but in their level of engagement, persistence, and success.   

The University is reaching the end of its current strategic plan.  What lies ahead for the new president is a major planning initiative that will enable Misericordia to meet the challenges and opportunities of shifting markets, new enrollment patterns, and whatever lies on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This effort will include a reaffirmation and strengthening of the University’s mission and identity, and identifying new initiatives that promise to serve students and the community more effectively.  It will also include developing strategies for marketing the University and its programs.

The successful candidate, therefore, will be expected to engage the community in substantive strategic planning, to increase enrollment, to ensure the liberal-arts identity of the University, to continue the history of strong fundraising and sound fiscal management, and to increase the diversity of the University community.

The ideal candidate will have faculty experience; administrative and leadership experience at the level of dean, vice president or provost; a record of fundraising success and increasing enrollment; and experience with strategic and enrollment planning.  More importantly, the ideal candidate will be a person for whom the Mercy Charisms are second nature—someone who has the vision to lead this kind of institution into a future of new opportunities and new challenges—someone who can inspire trust by effective, honest, transparent, mission-based decisions, actions, and communication.      

For further information about this opportunity and instructions to applicants, please review the position profile above. 

Nominations and Applications

For fullest consideration, applications should be received by November 16, 2020

Candidates are asked to provide a letter of interest in which they address directly the items in the leadership agenda included in the position profile (see above), resume/curriculum vitae and the names of five professional references with email addresses and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior written authorization from the candidate.  

Application materials should be sent electronically (Microsoft Word or PDF format) to:

Nominations and inquiries are welcomed and should be directed to:

Robert Holyer, Ph.D., Executive Search Consultant, /(804) 708-0834 (o) /(804) 402-6736 (c)                                            

Melinda Leonardo, Ph.D., Executive Search Consultant, /(202) 776-0827 (o) /(919) 280-4901 (c)

Misericordia University is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, sex, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information, arrest record, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws.