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Presidential Search

The Board of Trustees charged the Presidential Search Committee with identifying the strongest candidates – Jesuit or layperson – to serve as the 24th president of Marquette University, and bring its recommendations to the Board of Trustees.


Presidential search news

    March 10, 2014 – Presidential Search Committee holds meeting to continue
    vetting semi-finalists

    The Presidential Search Committee held a meeting to continue the due diligence process of vetting semi-finalist candidates. The Presidential Search Committee will continue to work closely and confidentially with remaining candidates in a process of mutual discernment.

    Feb. 26, 2014 – Presidential Search Committee holds meeting to continue narrowing the candidate pool

    After receiving feedback from the Board of Trustees, the Presidential Search Committee held a meeting to continue narrowing the pool of candidates. The Presidential Search Committee will work closely and confidentially with remaining candidates in a continuing process of mutual discernment.

    Feb. 26, 2014 – Presidential Search Committee updates Board of Trustees
    The Presidential Search Committee provided an update on the search to the Board of Trustees at the Board’s regularly scheduled meeting, including activities since the last board meeting; a review of the candidate pool; and next steps in the process. The Board of Trustees provided counsel and feedback to the Presidential Search Committee.

    View past presidential search news.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE SEARCH

Message from the chair of the Presidential Search Committee on search progress

Dear members of the Marquette community:

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am writing to update you on our progress and what you can expect will take place this semester.

Since the Board of Trustees' approval of the Presidential Position Description in early December, the Presidential Search Committee, in partnership with Jesuit leadership and our national executive search firm, Witt/Kieffer, have been actively engaging with prospective candidates – both Jesuit and lay. We're encouraged by the level of interest and the excitement around the search. To date, more than 1,200 individuals have been recommended or nominated, expressed interest, or were targeted as potential candidates.

Through thoughtful and candid discussions, the search committee began vetting the names to narrow the pool to the best candidates. With several Jesuits and numerous lay people, the pool is strong and includes a majority of sitting presidents as well as provosts, deans, and other distinguished leaders. The committee continues this high level of engagement with top candidates as we move toward identifying our recommendation for our 24th president.

Our conversations with top prospects confirm the importance of confidentiality to protect the integrity of their current positions, especially as some are still discerning where they can make the most impact. I know that many of you are eager for this process to conclude. We are in the most critical phase now, and know that it would not be prudent to rush. The process is on schedule; we continue mutually discerning with candidates as we move toward our recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Thank you for your help in developing the position description, the thoughtful nominations, the useful suggestions on the process and your support. As a result, this is a robust, productive search that will, no doubt, be very successful. For that, the search committee and Board of Trustees are most grateful.

John F. Ferraro, Bus Ad '77
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Vice Chair, Marquette University Board of Trustees


search committee

  • John Ferraro
    Bus Ad ’77, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, global chief operating officer at Ernst & Young
  • Patricia Cervenka
    Professor of law and director of the Law Library
  • Dr. William Cullinan
    PT ’81, dean of the College of Health Sciences
  • Patrick Lawton
    Bus Ad ’78, Grad ’80, Trustee, managing director, fixed income capital markets group, Robert W. Baird & Co.
  • Dr. Arnold Mitchem
    Grad ’81, Trustee, retired president,
    Council for Opportunity in Education
  • Rev. Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J.
    Trustee, professor of education at
    Boston College
  • Dr. Janis Orlowski
    Eng ’78, Trustee, senior director,
    Health Care Affairs, American Association of Medical Colleges
  • Owen Sullivan
    Arts ’79, Trustee, retired CEO of Right Management, Jefferson Wells, and president of specialty brands, ManpowerGroup

More search information


Dennis Barden

The search for the next president of Marquette University

Hear from Dennis Barden, senior partner at Witt/Kieffer, Marquette University's national executive search firm partner, about the importance of confidentiality during the search for Marquette's 24th president.