April 7, 2020 – Asheville, NC-based RH Perry & Associates has been chosen to find the next president for the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY. Managing partner Matthew Kilcoyne and senior consultant Kathy Krendl are spearheading the assignment. Last summer, Charles L. Flynn Jr. announced that he would be stepping down after 20 years in the role of the school’s president.
As of the deadline for applications of Feb. 28, the college’s president search committee had received nearly 80 applications and nominations for the role, said Steven M. Hayes, chair of the board of trustees. From this group, the committee selected eight candidates to interview. Those interviews were conducted by video conference at the end of March.
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“We are pleased to report that there are several continuing candidates whom we believe would be excellent successors to president Flynn and provide effective leadership in continuing the mission of the college,” said Mr. Hayes.
A Delayed Process
The College of Mount Saint Vincent originally intended to bring those candidates to the campus this spring in order to meet students, faculty, staff and administration, as well as trustees and alumni. “Considering the pandemic, it will be necessary to conduct those on campus meetings early in the fall,” said Mr. Hayes. “We are working with Matt and Kathy at RH Perry to develop ways to engage the continuing candidates and to get to know them better over the next few months.”
“We are confident that we will then be able to proceed promptly with the selection of a president and begin the transition to new leadership,” said Mr. Hayes. “In order to assist us in maintaining solid leadership during this period of time, president Flynn has graciously agreed to stay on as president through the end of the fall semester.”
The College of Mount Saint Vincent wants a president who will lead this mission-driven, student-centered community to its next level of academic achievement and financial strength through strategic vision, inclusive servant leadership and a lived commitment to its mission and core values in the Catholic tradition,” said RH Perry & Associates.
Reporting directly to the board of trustees, the college’s next president will be expected to leverage the college’s positive momentum and financial strength to look to the future, said the search firm. At the same time, the new leader must honor the college’s foundational mission, unique relationship with the Sisters of Charity, and transformative impact on students’ lives.
RH Perry & Associates said that the new president’s strategic priorities will include:
- Reaffirming the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s commitment to provide all students with a high-quality, transformative academic experience rooted in the liberal arts and sciences.
- Developing a strategic and inclusive vision for the college in the context of the rapidly evolving landscape of private higher education.
- Continuing strategic academic program development in all disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate level to ensure sustainable enrollment growth and fiscal strength.
- Developing additional external resources – through both “friend-raising” and fundraising – to continue to grow the endowment, enhance student success, address the campus master plan, and ensure equitable faculty and staff compensation.
Founded by the Sisters of Charity of New York, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is an academically excellent, authentically inclusive, independent liberal arts college of over 1,900 students that provides a unique and transformative student experience. Located in the Riverdale section of New York City, the college combines a strong undergraduate core curriculum with a full array of majors in the liberal arts and, within the tradition of liberal education, selected professional fields of study. The college community is committed to the development of the whole person, fostering an understanding of a common humanity, a commitment to human dignity, and a full appreciation of obligations to each other.
Established in 1974, RH Perry has conducted over 1,000 higher education searches. The firm’s higher education practice consists of senior-level executives with a well-balanced mix of college and university presidential experience, senior administrative experience and executive search expertise. Founded by Robert H. Perry, the firm also has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
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Mr. Kilcoyne, who joined RH Perry & Associates in 2002, has led or supported over 210 presidential and senior administrative higher education search assignments. He focuses on all aspects of the search process, including: search committee and board relations; needs analysis and the pre-search study; marketing, candidate identification and recruitment; evaluation and screening; candidate due diligence; and selection and transition.
Dr. Krendl joined RH Perry & Associates in 2018 after 37 years in higher education as a faculty member and administrator. She has served both public research universities and independent institutions in leadership roles as dean, provost, executive vice president, and president. Her expertise includes strategic planning and organizational and leadership development.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media