August 31: A Message from the Board Chair

TO: SJU Community
FROM: James M. Norris ’85, Chair, Board of Trustees
RE: A Message from the Board Chair
DATE: August 31, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

Dear Members of the SJU Community,

I hope that all of you have had an opportunity to take a break this summer and are now excited to begin the new academic year.

I write to you today with an update on the presidential search. Recently, several nationally recognized firms with extensive experience in higher education leadership searches were vetted and interviewed. At the end of that process, the search committee determined that Storbeck Search, a practice within the Diversified Search Group, is the right fit to guide us through this process.

SJU has worked successfully with Storbeck Search on several other critical searches in recent years, including the last presidential search, the most recent provost search and several other senior leadership searches. Once again, we are fortunate that Shelly Weiss Storbeck will serve as the lead consultant for our search process.

Storbeck Search joined Diversified Search Group in 2020. Both firms were founded by women, each with a mission to promote increased diversity at all levels of leadership. I was personally pleased to hear that Storbeck will lead the presidential search committee through implicit bias training before any candidate interviews are conducted. This commitment to diversity, along with an impressive track record of placing successful leaders in higher education, makes Storbeck an ideal partner to help us identify the right individual to serve as SJU’s 29th president.

It is the fiduciary responsibility of the Board of Trustees to appoint the next president, but the process will be an inclusive one. It is important that all constituencies — faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Jesuit community — have an opportunity to participate in this process. More information on how you can participate will be forthcoming as we begin our work with Storbeck Search.

Throughout the search process, it is my intent to share with you as much information as I can, with the caveat that confidentiality will be critical to successfully attracting a candidate. It is an especially exciting time in the long history of our University, and we have every reason to believe that we will have a robust pool of candidates for the role. That said, the integrity and confidentiality of the process can make or break our ability to attract strong candidates.

In an effort to keep the SJU community informed, we have established a presidential search website where you will find the membership of the search committee, each of the communications that have been sent out to date, the search prospectus once it is completed and other information. You will also have the opportunity to make recommendations and provide feedback through the website. In the meantime, you may email at any time with recommendations and feedback.

I believe we have an excellent team working to bring our next president to St. Joe’s and I am eager to begin this journey with all of you.


Jim Norris signature

James M. Norris ’85
Chair, Board of Trustees