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Update from Search Chair, Charles Smith

NOVEMBER 18, 2013

Charles H. SmithMembers of the USF Community,

I write to update you on the presidential search.

First and foremost, I thank all 675 of you who participated in one of the 15 Listening Sessions, completed the On-line Survey, or sent a message via our dedicated email address. Your comments were presented to the Presidential Search Committee and then used to revise the Presidential Leadership Profile, now posted on

Using the Presidential Leadership Profile, our executive search consultants at Isaacson Miller are now busy building a pool of highly qualified candidates. Their search work will continue for the next few months. I again encourage USF Community members to nominate candidates by contacting Isaacson Miller directly at

I want to address one of the topics that was discussed in all of the Listening Sessions and many of the emails, namely that both members of the Society of Jesus and lay candidates who have the ability to inspire and engage others in our Jesuit Catholic mission will be considered.

In this regard, be assured that the Board of Trustees is firmly committed to sustaining the university's commitment to its Jesuit Catholic identity and mission. Unfortunately, the pool of Jesuits qualified to lead the 28 U.S. Jesuit universities has become quite limited. That is why, several years ago, the board revised our bylaws to enable either a Jesuit or a layperson to be president. At this time, eight of the 28 Jesuit universities are now led by lay presidents, a fact not previously known by many Listening Session participants. The reports from these universities are that their Jesuit identities have flourished, and in some cases, even improved under their lay presidents.

I want to be very clear - the Board of Trustees is committed to finding the most qualified person, Jesuit or lay, to lead our university and enhance our Jesuit identity and mission. These requirements are not negotiable.

Please continue to contribute your feedback on the search process using

Charles H. Smith
Chair, Presidential Search Committee