RH Perry Leading President Searches for Alvernia University and Quincy University

August 7, 2018 – RH Perry & Associates is leading searches for new presidents at Alvernia University and Quincy University.

The Alvernia opening comes with the announcement that Thomas F. Flynn, who has led the Catholic university since 2005, will be stepping down next June.

The Reading, PA-based school’s next president will have the opportunity to build upon the transformational tenure of Dr. Flynn. The individual will be expected to lead the financially stable and ambitious university to its next level of success through a continued commitment to student-centered success, external engagement, academic rigor, financial discipline and the passionate articulation of its Franciscan mission and values, said RH Perry.

The president of Alvernia University is the chief executive officer of the university. “Alvernia’s seventh president will need to build upon the university’s growth and success while navigating the complicated trade-offs that will be required to ensure a bright future,” said the search firm. “She or he will find many opportunities to build upon existing positive momentum by bringing enthusiastic, entrepreneurial and visionary servant leadership to the position, especially in the areas of fundraising and external relations, alumni engagement, enrollment and retention and academic programs.”

Job Requirements

Candidates must have a track record of exceptional senior leadership in complex institutions or organizations, a significant level of financial and operational acumen, demonstrated expertise in fundraising and donor development and superb communication and team-building skills, said the search firm.

The next president must also demonstrate commitment and ability in supporting the university’s heritage and values; developing partnerships to advantage Alvernia’s students through academic, cultural and service enrichment or connections; fundraising; furthering Alvernia’s brand and reputation; and communicating the university’s vision and mission to prospective donors and the outside community, among other responsibilities.

Alvernia University is a private Franciscan institution rooted in the tradition of Catholic higher education. It combines a liberal arts foundation with a broad range of academic and professional programs. With an enrollment of almost 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and adult students, Alvernia creates a learning environment that is meant to be formative and transformative, committed to service and ethical leadership and to doing well and doing good.


Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts
Executive search for higher education and academia is undergoing a tremendous transformation. Technology is having a big impact. Diversity is also making its impact felt. Even certain roles are not the same as they were just a short time ago. Talk about a sector in transition!


RH Perry’s Matthew J. Kilcoyne, managing partner, and Roger H. Martin, senior consultant, are leading the search.

Quincy University

Quincy University’s 24th president will be charged with leading the liberal arts institution to renewed financial stability and the next level of academic success through strategic and transformative vision; collaborative and transparent servant leadership; and a strong commitment to Quincy’s mission, vision and Franciscan core values, said the search firm.

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

The president is the university’s chief executive officer. The individual is responsible for leading the school, implementing all board of trustees policies, keeping the board informed on appropriate matters, consulting with the board on matters appropriate to its policy-making and fiduciary functions, and serving as the University’s key spokesperson, said RH Perry.

The new leader will replace Phil Conover, who is stepping down next May. “The next president of Quincy University will be expected to make a significant mark on the institution, continuing the excellent work begun by president Conover, accelerating the financial turnaround that has begun and setting a vision and direction to move the university to a new level of stability and distinction in academics, service and athletics,” said the search firm.

Quincy is seeking an experienced, visionary and innovative leader who embraces the school’s mission, values and Franciscan charisma. Candidates must have a background in senior higher education leadership or have held executive positions in the public or private sector or equivalent experience, said the search firm. The school is seeking a strategic thinker and change agent with a demonstrated record of administrative success in leading an organization through financial and enrollment challenges; a data-driven decision-maker and a servant leader; a thoughtful risk-taker who models transparency and inclusion, institutional ambition and a commitment to strategic growth.

Passion and Skill

Candidates must have the passion and skill to be a visible and articulate advocate for Quincy University and its constituencies – both internally and externally – to increase fundraising, planned giving, external resource development, and brand visibility and awareness, said RH Perry. They should also have an understanding of the complexities of a private, tuition-driven college, including resource allocation, diversity and inclusion, changing demographics and increased competition; and the ability to develop an understanding of the importance of the mutually beneficial and close relationship between the university and the community, among other requirements.

Related: Why Universities Have Stepped Up Efforts to Involve Search Firms

Quincy University, which is located in Quincy, IL, offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and six pre-professional programs in the divisions of behavioral and social sciences, fine arts and communication, humanities, and science and technology, and the schools of business and education, as well as graduate degrees in business (MBA) and education (M.S.Ed.). The nursing program is offered through a partnership with the Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

RH Perry’s Mr. Kilcoyne and Jean A. Scott, senior consultant, are leading the search.

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 is headquartered in Asheville, NC, and has offices in California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Related: Coleman Lew + Associates Seeks Leader for Gardner-Webb University

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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