Search Process: Our Way of Proceeding

The search for Roger Williams University's 11th President began in the summer of 2018. The Board of Trustees outlined the following way of proceeding throughout the search process.

Installing the next President for Roger Williams University has been a thorough and deliberative process that had to involve input from across the university community. While the Board of Trustees have the fiduciary responsibility to elect the President of the University, the trustees recognize and value the importance of key stakeholder participation and engagement in this process. The Presidential Search Committee was charged with presenting the best-qualified candidates and recommendation of viable finalists to the full Board for its consideration.

Our search for the 11th President of Roger Williams progressed through three linked phases broadly understood as:

1) Definition,

2) Discovery, and

3) Selection.

In the first phase, Definition, the search committee along with the search firm, Isaacson, Miller, convened various listening sessions with specific audiences along with larger community forums focused on various roles. Throughout all these sessions, the goal has been to understand the opportunities and aspirations of the university, paying particular attention to the experiences and characteristics required to be successful in this role. The search committee reviewed and approved the detailed position profile to provide prospective candidates with a fuller understanding of Roger Williams University. Additionally the profile articulated a set of goals that the next President should plan to address.

In the next phase, Discovery, the search firm and the search committee  engaged in an extensive recruitment effort to attract a deep and diverse pool of candidates with the experience and skills necessary to lead Roger Williams University at this time of great change. This effort included advertising strategies, actively fielding inquiries from potential applicants, and accepting and pursuing nominations and suggestions for the role.

As the Selection phase began, the search committee deliberated and narrowed the field of candidates utilizing the position profile and interaction with candidates as a guide to its work. Select candidates were invited to meet with the committee for a formal interview and, then an even smaller group became finalists in the selection process. The references for all finalists were checked extensively. The committee made its final recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which ultimately elects the President.

About the Search Firm: Isaacson, Miller

Roger Williams University retained the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller. The Isaacson, Miller team was led by Partner Rebecca Swartz with Partner Vivian Brocard, Senior Associate Matt Tzuker, and Associate Kaden Stearns who work in the firm’s Boston office. The search committee selected Isaacson, Miller after a vetting process that included the review of several search firms. This firm was chosen for its extensive experience in Presidential searches with some of the country’s leading universities including Duke University, the University of Virginia, New York University, the University of Pennsylvania, University of California-Berkeley, Dartmouth and the University of California system, among many others.