Hyatt-Fennell Seeking 13th President for Marywood University

February 15, 2024 – Hyatt-Fennell Executive Search has been retained by Marywood University in Scranton, PA, to lead in its search for its 13th president. Last semester, Sister Mary Persico IHM, announced she would be retiring effective June 2024. The search process includes Hyatt-Fennell, and a Marywood search committee including the board of trustees, faculty senate president Ann Cerminaro-Constanzi, two other faculty members and student government association president Ian Kovatch. The committee will meet today to begin looking over candidates. The committee hopes to conduct over-the-phone interviews around the first week of March, with campus interviews following for the finalists between the end of March and early April. Dr. Constanzi said the committee seeks candidates with strong leadership, creativity, innovation and also inspirational impact to the community.

“Someone who really understands the mission of Marywood, I think also is an extremely important quality, someone that embraces that mission, that understands the mission, that doesn’t want to see the university stray too far from or stray far at all from the mission of the university since its founding,” said Dr. Costanzi. When asked about a possible successor, Dr. Constanzi explained how the search is open to anyone in higher education and also to the IHM sisters as well.

The new president will be a Catholic who has respect for the charism and mission of the university’s founders and sponsors, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scranton, PA, and will embrace the vision and core values of Marywood University. The president will have an appreciation for the liberal arts and the foundational role they play in the strong professional programs that prepare our students for their lives.

Input from Students

Dr. Constanzi also encourages all students to be as involved as they can in this process. “Their views matter and their voice matters, and they would have a chance to ask questions, to talk about what they feel is an important aspect of a candidate for president of the university because you all are invested just as much as we are,” she said.

Related: Hunt Scanlon Top 50 Non-Profit & Higher Education Search Firms

Marywood University, which opened in 1915, enrolls more than 2,500 full-time students; 1,792 at the undergraduate level and 757 graduate students. Popular undergraduate programs are business, nursing, exercise science, communication sciences and disorders, and architecture. The largest graduate programs are in social work, psychology and counseling, business, and physician assistant.

The High Demand for Higher Education Leaders Continues
With a new school year approaching, a number of top colleges and universities have announced they are seeking new, high profile leaders to take them into new eras of fundraising, digitalization, sports and, in some cases, globalization. Several universities haven’t changed leaders in years or even decades, and their boards of trustees and search committees are finding an entirely new and highly competitive landscape as they set out. It is another reason why they’re calling in executive recruiters to assist.

Hyatt-Fennell was founded in 2010 with the merger of Gallagher-Fennell Higher Education Services and the Charitable Resources Group. Its clients include higher education institutions, K-12 and independent schools, civic and religious organizations, healthcare facilities, and cultural and social welfare institutions. The firm provides counsel in all areas of executive search, including building client and candidate relationships, conducting prospect and candidate research and interviews, overseeing final selection of candidate and negotiating terms of acceptance. Among its recent assignments, Hyatt-Fennell has helped to place the new provost at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, the president of Notre Dame College in South Euclid, OH and the president of Caldwell University in Caldwell, NJ.

Ms. Hyatt, who has over 20 years of executive search consulting experience, is responsible for recruiting senior-administrative professionals for educational and non-profit organizations. Before partnering with Marylouise Fennell, she was the president and owner of the Charitable Resources Group, providing executive search and fundraising expertise to her clients. Ms. Hyatt brings over 30 years of management and organizational leadership experience to her role with clients.

Dr. Fennell, a Sister of Mercy, has more than 35 years of experience in higher education administration and executive search. She co-founded Hyatt-Fennell with Ms. Hyatt to meet the growing need for specialized search services that focus on small and mid-sized higher education institutions across the U.S. Prior to Hyatt-Fennell, Dr. Fennell taught and served in various executive roles at several colleges and universities, including as president of Carlow University (PA). She has experience in corporate relations and financial investment, and serves as a consultant and board member for various educational institutions and financial organizations.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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