Univ. names presidential search committee

Oscar Chicas

This week the University announced the members of the Special Committee on Presidential Selection. The committee is responsible for identifying and interviewing potential candidates to succeed the Rev. Edmund Dobbin, O.S.A. as University President at the conclusion of this academic year. After evaluation by the committee, a list of candidates will be presented to the Board of Trustees for further consideration and final selection.Under orders from John G. Drosdick, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, the ad hoc committee was established with seven members from the Board of Trustees, two from the Alumni Association, and one each from the students, faculty and current administration. Board of Trustees Vice Chairperson Herbert Aspbury will chair the ad hoc committee. Other board members serving are: Kimble A. Byrd, William B. Finneran, Rev. William T. Garland, O.S.A., Patricia H. Imbesi, James F. Orr III and Terrence M. O’Toole. The Administration will be represented by Dorothy A. Malloy, Vice President and General Counsel.The student body will be represented by Student Government Association President Jonathan Ambrose. Ambrose said he is eager to begin working with the committee.”As the only student representative on the search committee, it will be all the more important for me to voice my opinion and act as a balance to all the other members,” Ambrose said. “As a student, the way I evaluate the candidates will be different from the other members of the committee, and it is extremely important that that voice is considered.”Nobody sees the University the way we do. We are the here and now, and we are ultimately the most important voice in the university. If Villanova makes a decision or enacts a policy that is not beneficial to the students, then it is failing in its primary responsibility.”Ambrose said that his first concern will be how well the future president can fit into the Villanova community. “The role of president is essential in fostering that sense of community so many Villanovans have come to love,” he said.Dr. Debra A. Arvanites, a professor in the school of Commerce and Finance and chairperson for the Faculty Congress, will represent the faculty. Arvanites also said she is very focused on her role as part of the committee.”I view my role as exactly that – a faculty representative,” she said.  “I expect to bring faculty concerns to the committee,” she said.Arvanites also noted that her first concern is keeping in mind the mission of the University, and added that she will “look for a fit in preserving the culture that is Villanova, as well as a vision for continuing the good work of Father Dobbin in advancing the reputation of the University.”Ambrose said, “I will be looking for candidates that enjoy being around students and who will immerse themselves in the Villanova Community.” He added, “The next president of Villanova must be eager to embrace and support all student activities, recognizing that they are the foundation of what makes Villanova special.”Father Dobbin’s strong commitment to leading the University to new and greater heights will be difficult for his successor to emulate, but it is a characteristic I and the rest of the search committee will be looking for.”The committee will convene on Sept. 29 to begin evaluation of candidates.