DiSalvo wins nod for president, college begins final negotiations

Sabrina Fahy, Copy Editor

Members of the college Board of Trustees met on Saturday, April 27 in Boston where they voted to name Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. the 10th president of Saint Anselm College.
The Board offered DiSalvo the position on Saturday, and is currently awaiting his acceptance of the offer.
If DiSalvo accepts the position, he will succeed Father Jonathan P. DeFelice, O.S.B. who will retire at the end of the academic year after being president of the college since 1990.

In a phone interview with The Crier, DiSalvo confirmed that negotiations were ongoing. Presidential negotiations traditionally include issues of salary, housing, benefits, and transportation.
Over the past year, the appointed members of the Presidential Search Committee have worked hard to select the most qualified candidates for the position.
“I think the presidential search process has gone very smoothly,” says Student Government Association President Lyndsay Robinson. “I liked that students, faculty, staff, and administrators had the opportunity to meet both candidates and submit feedback. Submitting feedback was highly encouraged by the Board Chair.”
In October the search for a new president began with the naming of a search committee and recruitment of a search firm. Trustees Joanne Pietrini Smith and Rich Meelia ‘71 serve as co-chairs of the 13-member search committee, which includes representatives for the faculty, staff, monastery, alumni, student body and Board of Trustees.
Isaacson, Miller, a firm with extensive experience in recruiting presidents, provosts, and senior leaders for higher education, has aided the committee in the search.
Members of the search firm conducted a series of meetings with faculty, staff, student leaders, alumni, the monastic community and trustees. They worked to gather information about the traits and qualities required of the next Saint Anselm president.
At the open forum sessions held on campus for faculty, staff, alumni and the monastic community before the presidential search was launched, attendees were asked to discuss the environment of Saint Anselm College, as well as the opportunities and challenges that a new president will encounter. Those in attendance at the open forum sessions also discussed ideas for key personal or professional attributes of the next president.
The Search Committee advertised the position in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Women in Higher Education, as well as with Higher Education Resource Services, the Association of Benedictine Colleges & Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, the National Catholic Educational Association, Commonweal, First Things, National Catholic Register, and America.
In February, the Search Committee completed its review of the applications and nominations for the position received by Isaacson, Miller. The field was narrowed from approximately 50 potential candidates to seven candidates. Those candidates were invited to participate in off-campus, confidential interviews on March 22 and 23.
On April 10, the Presidential Search Committee announced the names of the two finalists. The Committee selected Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo and Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, both highly accomplished and qualified leaders, from an extensive pool of candidates.
On Saturday, April 27th, members of the College Board of Trustees met in Boston with Abbot Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B. to name one of the finalists to the presidency.
Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. is the fourteenth president of Marian University, a Roman Catholic school in Wisconsin. DiSalvo has earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership, a M.B.A. in marketing and a B.S. in psychology, all from Fordham University in New York.
Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., is Vice President for Catholic Identity at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md. Msgr. Swetland has a B.A. and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford, a M.Div. and M.A. from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, and his S.T.L. and S.T.D. from the Pontifical Lateran University. Msgr. Swetland was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Peoria, Il. in 1991.
Dr. DiSalvo visited the campus on April 15 and 16, and Msgr. Swetland did so on April 22 and 23. During their time at Saint Anselm College, the candidates met with trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the monastic community.
For the first time in the College’s history there will be a President who is not a Benedictine member of the Saint Anselm monastic community.
The original list of approximately 50 candidates included both external and internal applicants, as well as two representatives from the Benedictine monastic community. While having a non-Benedictine as the College’s president will be a major change, most feel that the Search Committee selected a candidate that has the qualities necessary for leading the community.
In a memo to the Saint Anselm College community, Abbot Mark Cooper said, “I believe that we have been careful to ensure and insist that our Catholic mission will be our continued primary focus, and that our Benedictine presence and involvement in that mission will be as vital as our numbers and strength allow.”