Saint Joseph’s College Taps Hyatt-Fennell for CFO Search

May 8, 2019 – Catholic liberal arts school Saint Joseph’s College has chosen higher education-focused executive recruitment Hyatt-Fennell to lead its search for a new chief business and finance officer (CBFO). Search firm partner Cheryl Hyatt is leading the assignment.

St. Joseph’s College, located in Standish, ME, wants a creative, strategic, collegial and entrepreneurial administrator who values transparency and shared governance, said Hyatt-Fennell. Reporting to the president, the chief business and finance officer serves as a member of the college’s seven-member leadership team and supervises the finance and facilities departments with a staff of 40 and two direct reports.

The CBFO will be expected to lead the business and financial planning functions to achieve strong operating results and a stable capital financing plan, develop reporting systems and processes to inform college leadership about the financial impacts of decisions, said the search firm. The individual will also be responsible for the college’s risk management, compliance and grant administration functions.

The CBFO must also work collaboratively with colleagues across the college to ensure that each major division has a sustainable business plan that supports the near, mid- and long-term goals of the learning community and that aligns with the college’s business plan, for which the CBFO is primarily responsible. The CBFO should be proactive in assisting the college to achieve the strategic goal of being financially sound, in addition to being a key partner in the strategic work of enhancing and diversifying the institution’s revenue streams. The role calls for effectiveness in fostering the college’s core values in all aspects of the business and finance operations. The individual must also be a strong advocate for the college’s efforts in sustainability, equity and inclusion.

Qualifications for the Role  

The successful candidate will be a creative, strategic, collegial and entrepreneurial administrator who values transparency and shared governance, said Hyatt-Fennell. Prospects should have a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible financial leadership and management experience. They must also have demonstrated experience and success in the areas overseeing treasury functions, financial reporting, annual and strategic budgeting, long-term and endowment investments, real estate development, long term debt management, risk management and new business development (including public/private partnerships).

Related: Academic Sector Pumping Big Fees Into Search Firms

A master’s degree is preferred; the certified public accountant (CPA) designation is a plus; and experience in higher education is not required although helpful. The next CBFO must be willing to support the mission of Saint Joseph’s College and be comfortable in the dynamic and evolving environment of contemporary higher education.


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Saint Joseph’s College, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, is a Catholic liberal arts college enrolling about 1,000 students of all faiths on campus in the traditional four-year college, while another 2,400 working adults take online courses from locations throughout the country and the world. The 430-acre campus is located on Sebago Lake, one half hour from Portland, ME and two hours from Boston.

A Respected Recruiter

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, health care facilities, and cultural and social welfare institutions. Hyatt-Fennell 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.

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

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 extensive experience in corporate relations and financial investment, and serves as a consultant and board member for various educational institutions and financial organizations.

Related: Recruitment for Higher Education Leaders Heats Up and Shifts

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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