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Presidential Search

A national search is underway by Widener University's Board of Trustees to find the institution's 11th president.

Mace at commencement

Presidential Search Prospectus

The university is seeking our 11th president in our more than 200-year history.  

View Full Prospectus

Search Details

Members of the Presidential Search Committee include:

  • Jim Mack, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Loyd Bastin, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joanne Caione-Keating, Associate Vice President, Learning and Client Experiences
  • John Culhane, Professor, H. Albert Young Fellow in Constitutional Law, and Co-Director of the Family Health Law and Policy Institute, Delaware Law School
  • Robin Dole, Dean, College of Health and Human Services
  • Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, Professor and Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, School of Nursing
  • Babak Eslami, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering
  • James (Jim) Hargadon, Trustee and Chair of the Academic, Student Affairs, and Civic Engagement Committee
  • Ijjae Hill, Student Trustee, Undergraduate Student
  • Linda Houser, Faculty Chair and Associate Professor, College of Health and Human Services
  • Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry, Trustee and Chair of the Trusteeship Committee
  • J. Wesley Leckrone, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Janet Long, Executive Director, Career Design & Development
  • Michelle Meekins-Davis, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Cynthia Sarnoski, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Audrey Strickland, Chair of Staff Council and Director of Accounts Payable
  • Randi Teplitz, Dean of Students, Adjunct Professor, and Interim Title IX Coordinator, Commonwealth Law School
  • Davida Vogel, Graduate Student
  • Tony Wheeler, Dean, School of Business Administration
  • Doug Wolfberg, Trustee and Chair of the Advancement Committee

We are pleased to announce that we have retained Dr. Susan May and Matthew Marsallo of Storbeck Search as our search consultants.

Storbeck Search is a leading executive search firm that specializes in higher education executive searches and recently became part of the Diversified Search Group.

Please email WidenerPresident@storbecksearch.com with any questions you have about the presidential search. 

All members of the Widener community are welcome to submit nominations of potential candidates to our search consultants via email at WidenerPresident@storbecksearch.com

The Presidential Search Committee welcomes your feedback regarding the priorities and characteristics of the next President via this survey.

Take Survey

Archive of Search Communications

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased to share that the Presidential Prospectus, a foundational recruiting document for our next President is now complete and posted on our presidential search website. This document was informed by valuable feedback of many on campus – those who completed the presidential search survey, as well those who were able to join one of the listening sessions with Sue May and Matthew Marsallo from Storbeck Search. The prospectus describes our vibrant community and outlines some of the attributes that we are seeking in our next president.

We continue to invite you to help us publicize the search by sharing the prospectus within your networks and by nominating candidates for this critical position. To nominate a candidate, please email widenerpresident@storbecksearch.com. Your email will go directly to our search consultants who will follow up on all nominations.

I am proud of our work to date. We are in an important phase of the search as we work to identify and recruit many candidates who may be excellent leaders as our 11th president. I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.

With Pride,
Jim Mack
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees

Dear Campus Community, 
 
On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am pleased to announce a series of listening sessions. The purpose of these listening sessions is for our search consultants from Storbeck Search and members of the Presidential Search Committee to hear directly from you about key attributes for our next president and key priorities for our university’s future. 
 
Listening sessions will be conducted via Zoom.  We invite you to register for the session that is applicable to you: 
 
Student Session 
•    Monday, September 13, 4:00-5:30 pm, zoom link, Meeting ID: 872 5561 3993 
 
Faculty Sessions 
•    Wednesday, September 15, 12:00-1:00 pm, zoom link, Meeting ID: 824 7909 1898 
•    Thursday, September 23, 4:00 pm-5:00 pm, zoom link, Meeting ID: 820 8017 0319 
 
Staff Sessions 
•    Thursday, September 9, 12:30-1:30 pm, zoom link, Meeting ID: 897 7233 2643 
•    Wednesday, September 15, 10:00-11:00 am, zoom link, Meeting ID: 835 4150 5854 
 
Additionally, sessions are being scheduled with Faculty Council, Staff Council, President’s Leadership Team, Provost’s Council, and the Board of Trustees. 
 
If you would like to participate, but are unable to attend the appropriate session, we invite you to participate in a confidential survey. Survey results will be shared with the Presidential Search Committee to help inform our work.

Take Survey
 
Thank you for your engagement and thoughtful participation in this critical search. 
 
With Widener Pride, 
 
Jim Mack 
Chair, Presidential Search Committee 
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees 

Dear Campus Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees I write to share an important announcement related to the presidential search. As Board Chair Paul Beideman shared in his last email to the campus, I have the honor of serving as the Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. As such, I am pleased to announce that we have retained Dr. Susan May and Matthew Marsallo of Storbeck Search as our search consultants.

Storbeck Search is a leading executive search firm that specializes in higher education executive searches and recently became part of the Diversified Search Group. Some of you may know Sue and Matt from their work on previous searches at the university.

As they begin their collaboration with the Search Committee, they will welcome input from students, faculty, staff, and other valued constituents regarding the priorities and qualifications that they believe are most important for the next president. Our consultants will hold a virtual “listening tour” in the coming weeks that will lead to the development of the presidential profile. In addition, a presidential search website will soon be launched, and it will include additional information and updates, as well as ways to share input on the search and how to nominate candidates. We hope that you will take advantage of these opportunities to share your perspectives with the Search Committee.

I will provide regular updates and look forward to this very important work.  Thank you for your engagement in the search process and for your dedication to our university.  I also want to share the Board’s collective appreciation as you prepare to start the Fall semester under continued pandemic precautions.  We are deeply grateful for your many contributions to our success.

With Widener Pride,

Jim Mack
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Vice Chair, Board of Trustees

Dear Campus Community,

I am pleased to share that the Board of Trustees has appointed the Presidential Search Committee. I want to thank this group of colleagues – both from the Board as well as from the campus community – who are giving so freely of their time to serve on this most important committee.

I especially want to thank Jim Mack ’85, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees who has agreed to chair the Presidential Search Committee. Many of you know Mr. Mack and his deep dedication to Widener. Not only did Mr. Mack graduate from Widener’s School of Business Administration, but he grew up in Chester and his mother worked at Widener for many years. Professionally, Mr. Mack is the Partner-in-Charge of EisnerAmper’s Assurance and Technology Control Services Group and a Partner in the Insurance Industry Practice.

Members of the Presidential Search Committee include:

  • Jim Mack, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Loyd Bastin, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joanne Caione-Keating, Associate Vice President, Learning and Client Experiences
  • John Culhane, Professor, H. Albert Young Fellow in Constitutional Law, and Co-Director of the Family Health Law and Policy Institute, Delaware Law School
  • Robin Dole, Dean, College of Health and Human Services
  • Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, Professor and Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, School of Nursing
  • Babak Eslami, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering
  • James (Jim) Hargadon, Trustee and Chair of the Academic, Student Affairs, and Civic Engagement Committee
  • Ijjae Hill, Student Trustee, Undergraduate Student
  • Linda Houser, Faculty Chair and Associate Professor, College of Health and Human Services
  • Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry, Trustee and Chair of the Trusteeship Committee
  • J. Wesley Leckrone, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Janet Long, Executive Director, Career Design & Development
  • Michelle Meekins-Davis, Chief Diversity Officer
  • Cynthia Sarnoski, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees
  • Audrey Strickland, Chair of Staff Council and Director of Accounts Payable
  • Randi Teplitz, Dean of Students, Adjunct Professor, and Interim Title IX Coordinator, Commonwealth Law School
  • Davida Vogel, Graduate Student
  • Tony Wheeler, Dean, School of Business Administration
  • Doug Wolfberg, Trustee and Chair of the Advancement Committee

Selecting our next president is the among the most important responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and one that we will make with great care and contemplation. The Presidential Search Committee will be responsible for helping to recruit outstanding candidates, but the final hiring decision rests with the Board of Trustees.

Trustee Mack and I look forward to providing regular updates about the search. I am confident that we will attract many outstanding presidential candidates due to the excellence of our faculty and staff, innovative spirit, and overall institutional strength. I look forward to our work ahead and I thank you for your dedication and commitment to our university.

Sincerely,
Paul S. Beideman
Chair, Board of Trustees

Dear Members of the Widener Community,

Last week, Dr. Julie E. Wollman announced that she will retire from the presidency at Widener University in June 2022, after completing six and a half extraordinary years of service. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank Julie for her dedication to Widener and the tremendous positive impact she has had on our university.

During her tenure, Julie has been a champion for enhancing access to education, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, and strengthening Widener’s commitment to the City of Chester. Under her leadership, Widener was recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education’s Great Colleges to Work for Program in four key areas – including confidence in senior leadership. Her Common Ground initiative, which encourages challenging conversations that explore differences in open and respectful ways, has received national recognition.

Under Julie’s guidance, the university engaged in an innovative and nationally recognized strategic planning process that builds on our institution’s ability to adapt to rapid change through agility, and positions Widener to thrive. While successfully overseeing all of these initiatives, she has placed Widener in a position of financial strength.

For the next year, the Board of Trustees and I look forward to working with Julie to continue to accomplish the goals that she has set forward that will leave the university well positioned for success. We also look forward to celebrating and thanking Julie, and her husband Dr. Dan King. As a campus community we will have many opportunities to recognize and thank Julie for her outstanding stewardship of our university.

As we look to the future and a successful and seamless transition, the Board is now beginning discussions about the search process for a successor to build upon these strengths. We will soon identify a committee, chairperson, and a search firm to assist us with the search. We look forward to regularly sharing news and information about the search process with the university community as we move forward.

As we prepare for this transition and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for Widener, the Board of Trustees and I look forward to our continued work together with the campus community. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the university and to our students.

Sincerely,
Paul Beideman
Chair, Board of Trustees

Get in Touch

For questions about the presidential search, please feel free to contact Storbeck Search directly.