B.C. Launches National Search For Next A.V.P.

Fr. Leahy appoints committee

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

University President William P. Leahy, SJ, has announced the formation of a search committee charged with identifying Boston College's next academic vice president and dean of faculties.

The committee, chaired by Monan Professor of Law Daniel Coquillette, aims to find a successor to William B. Neenan, SJ, by late spring of 1998.

Fr. Leahy announced last month that Fr. Neenan will become vice president and assistant to the president once a new AVP is hired and Fr. Neenan completes a sabbatical.

"I regard the selection of Fr. Neenan's successor to be of critical importance for our institution if we are to be faithful to our educational heritage and religious tradition as well to respond effectively to the academic challenges and opportunities of our day," Fr. Leahy wrote to search committee members after meeting with them on Oct. 23.

In a subsequent interview with Chronicle , Fr. Leahy said that in conjunction with the search process, BC would review the responsibilities and role of the AVP. "The University has changed a great deal in the last two decades," said the president, "and we need to make sure that the AVP and the Office of the AVP have the scope and authority that's required for Boston College today, especially in light of our goals."

As it prepares to commit an additional $260 million to the academic enterprise and embarks on a major capital campaign, Fr. Leahy said, "Boston College requires more than ever an AVP to whom I can confidently delegate responsibility for academic affairs and who will be an influential member of the senior management team. We also need someone who has the respect and confidence of both internal and external audiences."

Fr. Leahy said the national search will consider both Jesuit and lay candidates who hold doctorates, are successful as teachers and scholars, and who have demonstrated ability for academic administration.

"Our next vice president for Academic Affairs must also be a proven leader, someone with vision and the capacity to make tough decisions," Fr. Leahy added. "In addition, it is essential that the person chosen be an effective advocate for the Jesuit and Catholic mission and character of Boston College."

In addition to Coquillette, members of the search committee are: Graduate School of Social Work Dean June G. Hopps; Canisius Professor of Theology Michael Buckley, SJ; Cleary Professor of Finance Edward Kane; Prof. Richard Cobb-Stevens (Philosophy); Prof. Amir Hoveyda (Chemistry); Prof. Mary Walsh (SOE); Prof. Judith Wilt (English); Joan Agretelis, a graduate nursing student; and Kristin Pugh '98, UGBC executive vice president.

The committee will soon draft a job description, which will be circulated and placed in advertisements in appropriate publications.

The University also will utilize the services of an executive search firm, and search committee members will reach out to prospective candidates through colleagues and professional networks.

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