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Update from Search Chair, Charles Smith


Charles H. SmithMembers of the USF Community,

I write to update you on the progress of the Presidential Search Committee in finding the University of San Francisco’s next president and to let you know what to expect over the next few months.

Since my last update, the focus of the Presidential Search Committee and its executive search firm, Isaacson Miller, has been to identify and contact as many qualified candidates as possible. The qualifications we seek are reflected in the Presidential Leadership Profile. Our thanks to those community members who helped refine the profile by providing input and feedback at a listening session or in an email.

Other activities include:

  • Contacting over 300 individual sources with direct knowledge of potential candidates across higher education, including those at other Jesuit universities.
  • Placing advertisements in a variety of publications whose readership would include potential candidates and/or their colleagues.
  • Processing nominations received from members of the USF community. (It is not too late to submit a nomination at:
  • Receiving applications and responding to expressions of interest received from a vast range of candidates.
  • Reporting on our activities, progress and plans to the Board of Trustees at its Winter Meeting earlier this month.

Here is what you can expect in the coming weeks and months:

  • In early 2014, the Presidential Search Committee will meet confidentially with six to eight quarter-finalists.
  • By spring, a limited number of semi-finalists will be selected for additional confidential interviews.
  • Following these interviews, the Presidential Search Committee will recommend a finalist to the Board of Trustees.
  • The Board of Trustees will elect a new president.

Some have asked why the search requires such a high degree of confidentiality. The reason is that many highly qualified individuals would decline to participate in the search were their candidacies made public.

Thank you again for your continued interest in the search process. My personal best wishes to you and yours during this holiday season.

Charles H. Smith
Chair, Presidential Search Committee