October 26, 2020 – Asheville, NC-based RH Perry & Associates has assisted the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY, in the recruitment of Susan R. Burns as its sixth president. Managing partner Matthew Kilcoyne and senior consultant Kathy Krendl led the assignment. Last year, Charles L. Flynn Jr. announced that he would be stepping down after 20 years as the school’s president.
“At this key moment in the college’s history, Dr. Burns embodies a deep-seated commitment to the liberal arts and its inherent promise to provide access to an authentic, high-quality education to talented students of every background,” said Steven M. Hayes, chair of the board for College of Mount Saint Vincent. “Her dedication to students and to the values inculcated by a Mount education—knowledge, competence, civic responsibility—dovetail beautifully with the college’s mission. In this time of extraordinary cultural, economic, and educational change, we are confident that we have made an inspired choice for our next president, and that she will boldly and effectively guide the Mount into its next chapter.”
Dr. Burns’ appointment follows an intensive search that was launched in November of 2019. The college’s seven-person search committee included trustees and alumni as well as faculty and student representatives. Search criteria were based in part on comments submitted by the college community through emails, survey responses, letters, and recommendations. Despite the pandemic, the committee continued to meet with and vet each candidate throughout this spring.
“This talented group of individuals worked exceptionally hard to keep the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s mission, interests, and legacy front and center,” Mr. Hayes said. “I want to also acknowledge the diligence, guidance and expertise provided by our search firm, RH Perry & Associates. We thank them all.”
Dr. Burns is known for her skills as an academic leader, educator and scholar. “A natural team builder known for establishing collaborative partnerships across diverse constituencies, it was her dedication to educational access and the development of the whole person that set her apart as a unique and valued asset for the Mount Saint Vincent,” said the college.
Dr. Burns has been vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Clarke University since 2014. As chair of Clarke’s strategic planning task force, she helped restructure the university’s budget, reclaiming nearly a quarter million dollars to be reinvested in other academic programs. In 2019, Dr. Burns was appointed interim president of Clarke and led the university through a presidential transition.
Prior to Clarke, Dr. Burns was associate dean for academic affairs at Morningside College, where she was a full professor with tenure. She is the recipient of several awards for faculty excellence from Morningside College and received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the American Association of University Women. She has authored numerous articles and research papers for peer reviewed journals as well as several books and book chapters.
Founded by the Sisters of Charity of New York, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is independent liberal arts college of over 1,900 students. Located in the Riverdale section of New York City, the college combines a strong undergraduate core curriculum with an array of majors in the liberal arts and, within the tradition of liberal education, selected professional fields of study.
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.
RH Perry & Associates Seeking President for National Catholic Educational Association
The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has retained RH Perry & Associates to lead its search for a new president and CEO. Managing partner Matthew Kilcoyne and senior consultant Sue Dewine are leading the assignment. The president/CEO reports to the board of directors and is responsible for fulfillment of NCEA’s mission to enhance the vitality and fidelity of Catholic schools.
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