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Presidential Search

Date February 23rd, 2016

Dear Alverno Community,

It is with great pleasure that I announce Alverno College’s Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Dr. Andrea Lee, IHM, as the eighth president of Alverno College. She will take office at the start of the 2016–2017 academic year, building on the extraordinary legacies of Sr. Joel Read and Dr. Mary Meehan.

Dr. Lee is nationally renowned in the field of higher education and we are thrilled to be bringing someone of her caliber to Alverno to follow in the footsteps of the amazing women leaders who came before her. Since 1998, she has served as president of St. Catherine University in Minneapolis-St. Paul, home to the nation’s largest Catholic college for women. During her tenure, overall enrollment increased by nearly 30 percent. The university also substantially increased philanthropic support to fund growth in academic programs, student scholarships and university facilities, and launched many new postgraduate and undergraduate programs.

Prior to St. Catherine’s, Dr. Lee served Marygrove College in Detroit in several leadership roles, including dean, chief financial officer and interim president. I am especially excited about how involved she becomes in her local community, and how sought after she is for community leadership. Just a few examples of that include her appointments to the Mayor’s Budget Review Committee in St. Paul and the Detroit Empowerment Zone projects review board. She also co-chaired a mayoral transition team in Detroit, working with a team to draft strategies to improve the city.

Nationally, Dr. Lee serves on the system-level board of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation’s largest healthcare systems. She has also held leadership roles with the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities as board member, conference presenter and adviser to new Catholic university presidents; and she served as national chair of the Religious Network for the Equality of Women, a group that advocates for economic justice for women.

Dr. Lee is a member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; the adoptive mother of a son from Haiti; and proud grandmother of two young boys. She is a soccer fan, an avid bicyclist and an accomplished liturgical musician known for enlivening campus traditions and celebrations.

Dr. Lee’s appointment is the culmination of an exhaustive eight-month search led by a 14-person committee comprising board members, faculty, staff and alumnae. Because of Alverno’s reputation, we received applications from around the world, and we are extremely pleased to name someone of Dr. Lee’s caliber and renown as Alverno’s next leader.

I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Lee—who likes to be called Sr. Andrea—to the Alverno community.

Many blessings to all of you,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date January 15th, 2016

Dear Alverno Community,

Next week, a new semester at Alverno will begin. There will be more classes, more papers, more research projects, more assessments that will inspire and transform the nearly 2,500 students who will learn and teach here this semester.

As we begin a new term, I am so pleased to let you know that our Presidential Search Committee has narrowed down a very strong pool of candidates to three finalists who will be coming to the Alverno campus between February 2 and 9.

Each candidate will spend two days on campus in a series of meetings and open sessions with hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumnae, friends and board members. Attendees will be surveyed after each session to provide important feedback to the Search Committee about which candidate they think will best lead Alverno into the future.

Thank you, in advance, for your interest in this most important process. Alverno is a wonderfully collaborative community, and it is as a community that we will make the best decision for the future of this College and the women we serve.

Many blessings to all of you,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date December 16th, 2015

Dear Alverno Community,

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, recently posted a reflection on Hanukkah saying, “… it sometimes feels like we are surrounded by darkness. This Hanukkah, let us all try to remember the triumph of light, and that there can be unexpected miracles in the hardest times.”

Her message of shared suffering and hope are ones that are sorely needed in a violent and conflicted world. Working together we can find light even when it is well hidden.

Fortunately for Alverno, our light is shining brightly and it has served as a beacon
encouraging applicants from around the world to seek the Presidency of the College.
All of the applicants have mentioned their great admiration for Alverno, our curriculum and assessment model. Reviewing these applications is a wonderful reminder of just how well regarded this College is across the world.

The Search Committee will meet again this week to narrow the slate of candidates for first-round interviews. These interviews will take place in early January at an off-site
location. We are not able to share any information about these initial interviewees as we have agreed to strict confidentiality with each of the applicants. Only when we move to the finalist phase will we disclose the names of the finalists.

As we speak with each of these candidates, we will be evaluating them based on the Presidential Profile and criteria Alverno faculty, staff, students and alums helped the Search Committee and our consultants create. You can review that here:

I will be back in touch after the first round of interviews to update you on next steps, which will include opportunities for the entire campus community to engage with our
finalists for this important position.

We are working hard to find someone who will join with the entire Alverno community to lead this College into a strong and long future. Please pray that we will be blessed with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit during our search for our next leader.

In this holiday season, I wish all of you joyful and meaningful moments with family and friends. And I thank you for your investment in Alverno College. This is truly “a place where all belong” and where all become better—because each and every one of you gives of yourself to make it that way.

Many blessings to all of you,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date October 28th, 2015

Dear Alverno Community,

I am writing to let you know the recruitment phase of our presidential search has officially begun. Ads were placed nationally this week.

I encourage you to visit this Presidential Search site frequently to stay up-to-date throughout the process. On this site you will find:

  • A profile for the new president developed by the search firm and search committee and based on feedback sessions with Alverno faculty, staff, trustees and alums
  • A nomination form you can use to submit names of possible candidates you feel match the outlined profile
  • A timeline for the search process
  • A list of search committee members
  • Updates from the search committee

When you visit this website, please note that you can click on the Subscribe button to subscribe free to the site. As updates are made to the information, subscribers will be notified of changes through email updates delivered directly to your inbox.

It is our goal to keep this process as transparent as possible for the Alverno community. On behalf of all of us on the search committee, thank you for your trust and participation at this important time in Alverno’s history.

Many blessings to all of you,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date October 20th, 2015

Dear Alverno Community,

I want to thank you for the time so many of you spent with our presidential search consultants,
Dr. Jacqueline Doud and Ms. Maya Kirkhope on October 5 and 6. The insight you provided was so important to the search committee in our work to formalize the profile and goals for our next

As a result of your discussions, Jackie and Maya were able to provide the search committee with a thorough overview of the characteristics you would like to see in a new president, the challenges and opportunities you see at Alverno, and the distinctions you feel that make Alverno a special place. The final version of the Presidential Profile reflects your input and the input of the search
committee and the trustees.  The Profile will be available soon and will be one of the tools used to
recruit potential candidates and insure that they are aligned to the expectations we have for the next President.

The next step in our process will be to officially launch the search by advertising the position,
publicly releasing the Presidential Profile you helped create and going live with a website that will both help to keep you informed about the process and serve as a place for you to submit
nominations. As soon as this official launch is underway, I will let you know.

Thank you, again, for your participation in this process. Jackie and Maya truly enjoyed their time on campus.  Importantly, many of you reached out to me during Homecoming weekend, and
separately, expressing your confidence in our search consultants. We are making great progress

Best wishes,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date September 30th, 2015

Dear Alverno Community,

The Search Committee has selected the national firm Academic Search to lead our search efforts. Our committee was impressed with their results in national searches, their familiarity with Alverno, their demonstrated ability to seek diverse candidates, and their commitment to keeping the campus community informed and involved.

Our Academic Search consultants—Dr. Jacquelyn Doud and Maya Kirkhope—will be on campus next week to learn more about Alverno and talk with several faculty, staff, students, alums and trustees to get input about future needs and priorities of the College as well as aspirations for the new president. These discussions will help shape the presidential profile document that will be used to guide the search.

You will be receiving invitations to join in these discussions. Thank you in advance for considering this help. We are grateful for your insight.

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date August 26th, 2015

Dear Alverno Community,

I am pleased to announce the Search Committee members and to thank them for their commitment to this important process for Alverno. A list of the committee members can be found below.

The Search Committee will meet on September 19 to confirm the selection of the Search Firm we will use to guide this process.

Thank you for all you do,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Date July 10th, 2015

Dear Alverno Community,

I wanted to reach out to update you on our Presidential Search process. The process will formally get underway this Fall, but as you can imagine, work is happening now so that we will be ready to begin in earnest soon.

The Board of Trustees received training on the search process in June. A presidential search expert came to the June Board meeting to review best practices for a national search—including the role of a search committee, the job description and case statement for the College, soliciting input from the campus community and stakeholders, promotion of the position, interviewing candidates and communication to the campus and wider community throughout the search. Trustees then engaged in a discussion about how they would like the process to proceed at Alverno.

The search committee is being formed and will be made up of Alverno trustees, faculty, administration, alums and a representative from the School Sisters of St. Francis. I will be chairing this committee and am currently reaching out to others to ask them to join. I have asked the Deans and Faculty Senate to nominate faculty to serve on the committee, and will select representation from among these recommendations. As soon as all members are in place, I will send another email to you announcing the committee.

A search firm is being hired. National firms focus specifically on assisting with the search and hiring of college and university presidents, and will give us access to a pool of the most highly qualified candidates. I am reviewing the capacity of several of these firms and will work with the search committee to select the firm we will use.

As the process moves forward, I look forward to the many opportunities that will allow faculty, staff, students and alums to engage in this process and share feedback and ideas about who will make a strong president for our Alverno into the future. We will provide regular updates as we make progress.

Thank you in advance for what I know will be your thoughtful participation in this important process. Many, many heads are better than a few, and we will need everyone’s support and input to hire the best person to guide Alverno’s vision and mission.

Thank you for all you do,

Don W. Layden, Jr.
Chair, Board of Trustees

Presidential Search Commitee
  • Photo of Don Layden, ChairDon Layden, Chair

    Partner, Quarles & Brady

  • Photo of Mary Beth Berkes '75Mary Beth Berkes '75

    Co-Founder, Linden Capital Partners

  • Photo of Pete BrucePete Bruce

    Attorney, Davis and Kuelthau, S.C.

  • Photo of Jovita CarranzaJovita Carranza H '11

    President, JCR Group

  • Photo of Zohreh EmamiZohreh Emami

    Professor, Alverno School of Business

  • Photo of Cecelia GoreCecelia Gore '92 '08

    Executive Director, Brewers Community Foundation, Inc.

  • Photo of Gary GrunauGary Grunau

    President, Grucon Group LLC

  • Photo of Barb KraemerSr. Barbara Kraemer '65

    Faculty – School of Public Service, De Paul University

  • Photo of Allen LeverettAllen Leverett

    President, We Energies Group

  • Photo of Kim Metcalf-KupresKim Metcalf-Kupres

    Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Johnson Controls, Inc.

  • Photo of Kathleen O'BrienKathleen O'Brien '67

    Senior Vice President – Academic Affairs, Alverno College

  • Photo of Julie Quinlan BrameJulie Quinlan Brame

    Vice President, Advancement, Alverno College

  • Photo of Peg RauschenbergerPeg Rauschenberger '85

    Interim Dean of Nursing, JoAnn McGrath School of Nursing and Health Professions,  Alverno College

  • Barbara Wyatt-SibleyBarbara Wyatt-Sibley '82

    Community Volunteer

  • Photo of Mary FriesekeMary Frieseke, Committee Assistant

    Director, Alumnae Relations, Alverno College