A.V.P. Search Focusing On 'Major Player'

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Applications and nominations are streaming into the search committee charged with identifying Boston College's next academic vice president and dean of faculties, according to Monan Professor of Law Daniel Coquillette, the committee's chairman.

The committee is meeting weekly and sub-committees are meeting more frequently as the process of gathering and screening applications and nominations moves forward, he said. In addition, the University has retained the services of Heidrick and Struggles, a leading executive search firm with extensive experience in higher education.

Coquillette said the committee plans on submitting the names of three candidates to University President William P. Leahy, SJ, this spring.

The search committee has been divided into four sub-committees, Coquillette said, each charged with a different aspect of the process. Though the position has been advertised, two sub-committees are working to identify and solicit individuals who currently hold academic leadership positions at other major universities; one is responsible for Jesuits, the other for non-Jesuits.

Monan Professor of Law Daniel Coquillette, the AVP search committee chairman.

A third sub-committee is screening applications and the fourth panel will make presentations to candidates the committee decides to pursue.

Given the University's commitment to investing $260 million in the academic enterprise at Boston College, which Fr. Leahy launched last semester, Coquillette said the job is attracting "major players" in higher education.

"We're looking for individuals with excellent academic track records and vision who will move the University to the next tier upward academically," said Coquillette. "The quality is the bottom line here. We're going to be sure the three names we send to the president will be excellent names."

Working under the assumption that Boston College's next AVP is likely happy and successful in his or her present job, Coquillette said much of the committee's and search firm's work has involved sifting through the academic leadership around the country. Jesuits have already been screened twice, he added.

"We have reviewed every qualified Jesuit in the country," Coquillette said. "We will have some good candidates out of that group."

Adding that there are excellent non-Jesuit candidates as well, Coquillette said the committee has received numerous valuable suggestions from BC faculty and graduate students. Coquillette has assigned committee members to act as liaisons with various University constituencies and he encouraged members of the University community with ideas to express them to the appropriate liaisons.

Coquillette is liaison with the vice presidents and alumni, and, together with Graduate Student Association President Joan Agretelis, the Law School. Canisius Professor of Theology Michael Buckley, SJ, Prof. Judith Wilt (English) and Prof. Amir Hoveyda (Chemistry) are liaisons to the College of Arts and Sciences.

Prof. Mary Walsh (SOE) is in touch with the School of Education and, in conjunction with Agretelis, with the School of Nursing. Cleary Professor of Finance Edward Kane is the liaison with the Carroll School of Management, and Graduate School of Social Work Dean June G. Hopps is the liaison to GSSW. Undergraduates are represented on the committee by Undergraduate Government of Boston College Executive Vice President Kristin Pugh '98.

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