Archived Messages from the Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

January 16, 2018

Happy New Year and good wishes for the start of a new semester.  I am thrilled to share this update on the presidential search, as we get closer to selecting the College’s 14th president. The clear and simple aspiration of the search process has been to find the best person to lead CNR, someone passionate, driven, energetic, and compelled by our mission. 

The search process reached a broad audience and led to 100 applications, all reviewed and categorized. Our search partner RH Perry screened and evaluated the applicant pool and identified the top 50 candidates. They did significant due diligence, interviews, and reference checks on the strongest candidates—18 individuals. The search committee was tasked with doing its own review of the leading candidates. The committee met for five hours in late November and chose 11 semi-finalist candidates. Nine of those candidates decided to remain in the search, and on December 16 and 17, the search committee met with each candidate for an in-depth, structured interview. This work led to the selection of four finalist candidates. All have strong academic credentials and demonstrable success in various leadership roles at colleges and universities.

We have invited the four finalists to meet with the College Community. Four sessions, each lasting two full days, are scheduled for: January 29/30, February 1/2, February 5/6 and February 8/9. During these meetings, candidates will spend time with students, faculty, staff, trustees, alum and the College’s leadership team. The schedule for these meetings will be posted shortly.  Your attendance and enthusiastic participation are essential. We will provide more information about each of the candidates as the campus visits draw closer.

I am very proud of our work and very excited with our results so far. I am grateful to the search committee for its rigorous and unselfish participation—for its candor and collaboration. I am also grateful to all of you for your advice, recommendations, and wisdom as we move through this important and transforming process.


Christine LaSala ‘72
Trustee and Chair, Presidential Search Committee


October 5, 2017

Since my last update on the Presidential Search, much has happened and the search has now advanced to the exciting stage of reaching out for candidates with the skills, experience and credentials to lead the College to “a next level of academic success and a restored level of financial stability…” This quote is taken from the Presidential Search Profile just posted on the College’s website.

The search profile is the culmination of substantial work by the search committee and our search partners RH Perry & Associates.  We recently concluded nearly 30 hours of conversation with people from across the College Community—students, staff, faculty, alum, members of the Ursuline Community, and trustees.  We’ve directly heard from nearly 200 people and received what we sought and hoped for—candid input to give us a clear understanding of what the College needs in its next president and importantly, a strong sense of the CNR Community’s aspirations for the College’s future.

I continue to emphasize what the search process will be—rigorous, transparent and communal.  Continue to share your ideas and questions.  Please share the search profile with your colleagues, as we try to reach a broad and deep audience of potential candidates.  Our ambition is simple: to find the best person to lead the College, someone passionate, driven, energetic, and compelled by our mission.

 The most important immediate date is the deadline for applications—November 17. 

Thank you for your time and wisdom as we move through this vital process.

Christine LaSala ‘72

Trustee and Chair, Presidential Search Committee


August 30, 2017

The search for the College’s next president is underway and we are moving into the very important phase of direct outreach to the entire CNR Community.  The purpose of this part of the work is to develop the broad-based needs assessment that will form our understanding of the strengths, credentials, experience and character of our next president.

We must identify an able, passionate, determined and visionary leader, and we must lead a process that helps heal and bind the College Community. The search will be rigorous, transparent and communal.

Our search partner, RH Perry & Associates, will visit campus from September 18 to 20, for 2½ days of meetings with the College Community—faculty, staff, students, trustees, alumnae/i and leadership.  In addition to the RH Perry team (Matthew Kilcoyne and Rusty Martin), members of the search committee will participate in these meetings to hear first-hand from all of you about CNR’s strengths, opportunities and needs at this critical time in our history.

With your full and robust participation in these meetings, we will achieve our initial hopes for the search process—candid input from the entire community and transparency, leading to a clear understanding of what we need and seek in our next president.

View the schedule for meetings here.   We will run duplicate sessions to accommodate as many as possible.  More specific invitations and locations will be provided for each meeting in subsequent communications.

I am very excited to hear from all of you.

Christine LaSala ’72
Trustee and Chair, Presidential Search Committee

August 2017
Since our last report, here are developments in our search for the next president of the College of New Rochelle:

  • In late June, upon the recommendation of the Search Committee, the College’s Board of Trustees approved the appointment of RH Perry & Associates as our search partner.  As reported earlier, we undertook a full RFP process, reviewing proposals from eight firms, and selecting RH Perry after both written and oral presentations.  The firm’s primary focus is to assist institutions of higher education in the identification and selection of their leadership.

  • Our search will be led by Matthew Kilcoyne and Rusty Martin.  Both have extensive experience in presidential searches.  Of particular importance to CNR is the team’s significant work with Catholic colleges and universities with a liberal arts tradition.

  • On August 10, we held the first in a series of meetings to help develop the broad-based needs assessment that will form the basis of the role description for the new president.  RH Perry conducted three 90-minute sessions with members of the search committee and board members. Because of the inclusive make-up of the search committee, these first meetings provided some early and valuable insight into the views of faculty, administration, students and alumnae.

  • The RH Perry team is also reviewing extensive information about CNR—its history, programs, enrollment and obviously, our current financial situation.  This information will enable the presentation of a candid and compelling description of the opportunity to potential candidates.

  • For the next step in the process, the RH Perry team will return to campus in September, once the semester is in full swing, for two full days of meetings with the College Community.

  • We are committed to wide outreach to identify candidates to become the College’s next president.  I encourage you to share your thoughts.  If you would like to suggest a colleague or friend, please do so by sending their resume or name to:  If you prefer, email me directly at  All recommendations will be shared with RH Perry and will be part of the initial screening process.

  • Another reminder about our time-frame:  the search committee expects to bring a candidate to the Board of Trustees in early 2018.  The fall will be the busiest time of the process. I will share a more detailed time frame in my next update.

My best wishes for a very happy and safe August,
Christine LaSala SAS’72
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

June 2017

As I have come to understand the dynamics of a search for a college president, a reality is that they start slow and then accelerate during the mid-months of the search process.  Although we are still in that start phase, much has been accomplished and this note will report on those developments:

  • The search committee is formed and functioning.  The full committee met at the end of March for several hours of discussion that was both passionate and candid.  This was an important first step to begin to build trust, communication and to make sure issues and concerns surfaced early. Everyone had something important to say about their aspirations for CNR and their hopes for the search process.  We also discussed the logistics of the search, including our timeline and scope of work.

  • The committee’s first job was to undertake a process to select a professional search firm to support the recruitment and selection process for the College’s 14th president.  There was discussion within the committee about the need for an executive search firm. The College has not done a far reaching presidential search in decades. As we address our current challenges, we need the disciplined approach and broad outreach that an executive search firm provides. The committee collaborated on the Request for Proposal and the RFP was sent to 10 firms on April 13.  Proposals were due on May 2 and we had a strong response, receiving eight proposals.

  • Since then, the committee has evaluated all proposals and selected four firms to make presentations.  Presentations begin on June 8 and we expect to select the firm by the end of June.

  • Alumnae/i College is this weekend.  Members of the search committee will meet with reunion classes to begin the conversation to get views on CNR’s leadership needs.  This is a first step in developing a broad-based needs assessment that will lead to a robust role description for our new president.

  • A reminder about our time-frame:  the search committee plans to bring a candidate to the Board of Trustees in early 2018, with an expected start date of July 1, 2018.  The busy mid-months of the search process will be this fall.

As soon as our search partner is selected, we will let the CNR Community know.

Best wishes for a wonderful summer,
Christine LaSala SAS‘72
Chair, Presidential Search Committee

March 2017   

I write this note as we begin our work together on the search for the next president of The College of New Rochelle. I am honored to have been asked by the Board of Trustees to chair the Presidential Search Committee, and I am humbled by the importance of this responsibility. The selection of the College's next president is the vital duty of the Board and it will be a defining moment in CNR’s history. 

This search comes at a time when we must balance the College's hopes and ambitions for a renewed and reinvigorated future with our still precarious but precious present.  Not only must we find an able, passionate, determined and visionary leader, we must lead a process that helps heal and bind the College Community. The inclusive make-up of the committee and the process envisioned reflect the Board's determination to bring the entire College Community together in the service of CNR.  

The integrity of the process will be as critical as the candidate it secures. The search will be rigorous, deliberate, communal and transparent. It will be assisted by a reputable search firm with national reach.  It will respect the devoted voices of students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumnae/i and trustees. It will honor the history and ideals of the College.  And it will call upon our community to give the highest expectations, time, energy and wisdom. 

We anticipate that the search will take eight to ten months, culminating in the committee's recommendation to the Board of Trustees in early 2018.  The new president’s likely start date will be July 2018. While good fortune might help us fill the position sooner, this time frame is consistent with the duration of searches at many colleges and universities.

We are committed to regular communication about the progress of the search. This webpage will track our progress and share our intentions. Our first community step will be to conduct a broad-based needs assessment, including extensive conversations with key constituents. Listening is essential to our success. We must know what you think about the College's challenges, opportunities and the requirements for our next leader.

We will publicize the multiple ways by which we intend to listen to and seek input from the entire College Community. In the meantime, we welcome your aspirations and concerns for the search.  Please tell us what is on your mind at

We come to this work with an abiding love for CNR and deep faith in its future.  We share abundant wisdom.  Together we will find the best person to be The College of New Rochelle's 14th president. 

I look forward to working with and hearing from all of you.

Christine LaSala SAS‘72
Chair, Presidential Search Committee