Presidential Search Committee Reviewing Applications

The search committee for the next president of St. Thomas has begun to review applications and select semifinalists for interviews in November.

The 13-member committee has been charged to conduct a national search to identify and assess a broad and diverse pool of qualified candidates and to nominate an individual to the Board of Trustees. The board has sole responsibility to choose a successor to Father Dennis Dease, who will retire June 30 after 22 years as president.

“We have received numerous nominations and suggestions of candidates from within and outside the St. Thomas community, as well as numerous applications,” John M. Morrison, chair of the search committee and a member of the Board of Trustees, says in a letter on the presidential search website. “We greatly appreciate all of your efforts to help us identify strong candidates to serve as our next president.”

Witt/Kieffer, an executive search firm, has worked with the search committee to identify and recruit potential candidates and develop a leadership profile for the position, said Sara Gross Methner, St. Thomas general counsel and chief human resources officer. She is serving as staff to the committee.

While the search committee is working to recommend a candidate to the board by the end of 2012, it may not meet that timeline. “The search committee is committed to take whatever time we determine is necessary to develop the best pool of semifinalists and finalists for consideration,” Morrison said. “We will continue to provide updates as our process moves forward.”

St. Thomas’ bylaws and the Board of Trustees govern the search and selection process. The bylaws allow only a Roman Catholic – priest, religious or lay person – to serve as president.