The Saint Michael's community is seeking a president who will bring creative vision, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a determined management style to address the ambitions and challenges facing the College.
A new president should arrive with sensitivity to Saint Michael's past experiences and traditions, a willingness to listen and observe, and an ability to quickly establish and implement a leadership agenda that includes the following:
BUILD UPON and Advance the College's commitment to the Liberal Arts and Academic Excellence
Saint Michael’s College enjoys an outstanding academic reputation, a strong faculty, and talented and engaged students, and yet is eager to reach a higher level of academic distinction, becoming recognized for a strong liberal arts focus, high-quality classroom instruction, active research, strong undergraduate study-abroad programs, and community-based public service. It will be the responsibility of the President to raise the academic reputation of the College regionally, nationally, and internationally. To achieve these goals, it will be important to identify a shared academic vision with the faculty and to determine a common understanding of what makes a Saint Michael’s College education distinctive and an outstanding value for students and alumni. The President must be an innovative thinker who can critically assess the College’s current position, articulate a compelling shared vision for the future while ensuring academic freedom, and develop goals for the strategic implementation of that vision.
SUSTAIN and Strengthen Saint Michael's Edmundite/Catholic Mission
The focus of the Saint Michael’s heritage will require that the President understand and model the values of the distinctive mission of the institution, demonstrating personal and professional integrity and a deep personal commitment to academic excellence, service, community, and personal relationships. The President must competently communicate and enliven the liberal arts mission of the institution, build on its Edmundite tradition, and advance the College’s voice nationally and internationally.
STRENGTHEN Resource Acquisition and Allocation
When building upon the existing strategic plan, it will be critical to integrate the availability of financial resources in pursuit of the plan’s objectives and to identify timelines and priorities for initiatives. Two revenue streams will require the president’s focus and commitment:
Stimulating Philanthropy — Fundraising will be a focus for the President. More specifically, the President must actively represent Saint Michael’s at fundraising functions, drive College relations to secure donations and grants, launch capital campaigns, and build the endowment. The College’s endowment, currently at approximately $85 million, must continue to increase in order to attract and retain outstanding faculty and students and to support the institution’s future operations. The President must be a successful steward of the College’s finances from both strategic and operational perspectives.
Enabling Enrollment Outcomes — Regardless of fundraising successes, the College will continue to be primarily dependent on tuition as the main source of revenue well into the foreseeable future. The President must be sure to maintain enrollment and retention goals and take steps to expand alternative revenue streams.
INSPIRE the Saint Michael's College Community
Open dialogue and a commitment to teaching, scholarship, and respect for the humanity of each individual will help strengthen the sense of community that the campus has long valued. By communicating clearly, collaborating effectively, and engaging in transparent decision making, the Saint Michael’s College President can sustain that community feeling. The President must be willing and able to encourage widespread understanding of and even participation in major decisions affecting the College.
The President must be viewed as an inspirational, forward-thinking, and entrepreneurial leader who embodies the institution’s distinctive mission and works well with faculty, students, staff, alumni, the Board of Trustees, and the Burlington community. The President must also effectively articulate the “heart and soul” of Saint Michael’s to alumni, others connected to the College, and those learning about its special place in higher education.
The President should be an advocate and a supporter of the College’s athletic tradition, which provides a high quality, broad-based athletic and recreational experiences for almost 25 percent of the student body. The President must help our athletes to the intellectual, personal, social, moral and spiritual growth that is paramount in the process of developing the whole “human person.”
The President must be comfortable with the intimacy and personality of a residential campus and should be visible, approachable, and a fully engaged participant in the life of the Saint Michael’s College community. This personal style will be particularly important to Saint Michael’s students, faculty and staff, who, although social media savvy and often communicating electronically, still value an accessible presidential presence throughout their campus and the geographic areas where alumni and parents are located.
FOCUS on Students and Model Diversity and Inclusiveness
The President must be committed to strengthening a sense of inclusion and diversity on campus and have the ability to work professionally with diverse groups of people. Students, faculty, and staff are particularly supportive of maintaining an inclusive campus community. To advance the College’s mission and further prepare students for a 21st-century world, efforts to reflect inclusiveness in all its forms must be a priority. Academic freedom and excellence flourish in an environment that encourages the fullest possible diversity of ideas and expression.
LEVERAGE Trustees to Strengthen a Great College
The Board of Trustees is deeply committed to the Saint Michael’s mission, and its members are generous with their time, energy, and resources. New leadership will have the opportunity to forge a fresh partnership with the Board. Trustees want to continue an open, transparent, supportive, and collaborative relationship with the President, faculty, staff, students, and community. Such a partnership will enable the Board to continue its effective work, while allowing the President to offer the campus community an even better understanding of the Board’s contributions.
CONNECT with Alumni, Burlington, the Region and National and International Partners
Expanding the involvement that Saint Michael’s has established with its alumni and surrounding neighborhood and in the Greater Burlington region is important. Developing additional partnerships with schools, government, corporations, nonprofit groups, and other colleges and universities will be mutually beneficial to Saint Michael’s and the community.
Extending this theme, it will be important that the President, leadership team, and faculty craft meaningful and strategic ways to incorporate national and international experiences into the academic programs and the lives of the College’s students and faculty in general. We all understand that education broadens outlooks, builds an understanding of diversity and inclusiveness, adds depth and quality to the global experience, and enhances the academic and research strengths of the institution.