News

Presidential Search Process Continues, Diversity and Inclusion Remain Key Issues

Jocelyn Buggy ‘22, News Editor 

The search for Father Boroughs’s successor continues as Isaacson, Miller, and the Presidential Search Committee begin researching what the Holy Cross community needs from its next president.  On Monday, November 2, members of the Isaacson, Miller team and the Search Committee held its second open forum virtually.  Monday morning’s Zoom call was open to all faculty, staff, and current students of Holy Cross.  The purpose of both this forum and last weeks’ was to outline the search process and solicit input about attendants’ aspirations for the future president.  Committee Chair Tom Joyce ‘82 posed a series of questions to the Holy Cross community via email prior to these forums:  How will you know that we hired the right person – one year from now, three years from now, and five years from now?  What would be the tangible and objective measures of success?  What organizational activities at Holy Cross need to be sustained?  What are the challenges the next President of Holy Cross will face?  What past or current experiences and leadership qualities would confirm that someone has the skills and expertise to do this job well?

Consistent throughout the early dialogue regarding the Presidential Search is diversity, equity, and inclusion in the process.  In the virtual forums with IM and the Search Committee, students repeatedly emphasized the importance of selecting a president who will prioritize a commitment to such initiatives during their tenure.  Last week, Isaacson, Miller President Vivian Brocard stated that the Search Committee shares these goals and plans to recruit a diverse candidate pool that includes women.  Brocard’s statement echoes IM’s history as an executive recruiting firm historically committed to diversity and inclusion issues.  According to the IM website, the firm is distinguished by “its longstanding commitment to bringing women and people of color to senior management positions.”  Since its advent in 1982, 43% of Isaacson, Miller’s placements have been women, and 23% have been people of color.

Graphic by Hui Li ’21.

The Spire spoke to third-year student Michaela Faris about her thoughts on Brocard and IM’s position.  “As a student of color,” Faris said, “I think that it is critically important that the new president continues to embrace diversity and promote cross-cultural events, through organizations like LASO, CASA, BSU, ASIA, etc. to make students like myself feel more at home on campus.  The Catholic Church needs to do more in promoting women in higher positions, and Holy Cross should do the same and consider female candidates for the position of president. Since Holy Cross is a Catholic school, I do believe that whoever is selected must have a strong determination to maintain the Jesuit traditions of men and women for and with others and the Ignatian principle cura personalis, care for the whole person.”

When asked what else she wants to see from the next Holy Cross president, Faris responded: “I believe that transparency is one of the most important characteristics that a college president should possess. This has been especially important during COVID as it was very upsetting, at the last minute, that campus would not reopen in the Fall since most other campuses in the northeast did. This impacted my life and the lives of my peers in a very negative way. Looking ahead to the future, I believe that information must be shared as soon as it is known to allow students to make the best decisions they can for themselves.”

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