Chair Updates
Presidential Search

Chair Updates

January 13, 2016

The Presidential Search Committee met in Albany just before Thanksgiving, and interviewed nine semifinalist candidates for the Presidency of Utica College. All of the semifinalists were accomplished and impressive, and we were grateful to have an opportunity to meet with each of them. From this group of semifinalists, we have chosen for further consideration three finalists whose credentials, personal qualities, and enthusiasm set them apart. We have invited them to come to campus to meet with members of the College community so that they and we can further explore the match between the mission, agenda, aspirations, and people of Utica College and their own skills, experience, and passion.

On behalf of the Presidential Search Committee, I am pleased to announce that the finalists for the position of President of Utica College are:

  • Dr. Laura Niesen de Abruna, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of English, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, who will interview on campus on January 26 and 27;
  • Dr. Charlie T. McCormick, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of English, Schreiner University, Kerrville, TX, who will interview on campus on January 28 and 29; and
  • Ms. Laura M. Casamento, Executive Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer, Utica College, who will interview on campus on February 1 and 2.

On this page you will find a short biography of each finalist. Prior to the finalists’ visits, we will share complete curriculum vitae (CV) with you.

I also invite you to review this common itinerary that will be utilized for each of the finalists. We invite and urge you to attend and participate in the sessions set aside for your constituent group and to provide feedback based on those meetings to help inform the deliberations of the full board. This feedback can be provided to me at through the evening of February 2.

Finally, this is a great opportunity for all of us to shape the candidates’ impressions of Utica College, and that will be very important in attracting the candidate the Board of Trustees ultimately chooses.

I look forward to seeing you on campus for these important meetings as together we continue the process of identifying the next leader of Utica College.

- Mark Salsbury '79, Chair

December 1, 2015

As you know, the search for the ninth president of Utica College started in May of this year, and throughout the process we have endeavored to take an approach that is inclusive, comprehensive, and highly professional.

In October, we reported to you that we received 113 applications, and following careful consideration and collaboration amongst the Search Committee, we narrowed that list to nine semifinalist candidates.

The Search Committee interviewed semifinalist candidates off-site on November 21-22, and with this important step now having been completed, I am pleased to report that we have selected three finalist candidates.

These finalists will have the opportunity to be evaluated further through an on-campus visit that will provide the opportunity for them to engage with our many constituency groups, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, trustees, and others.

We anticipate the on-campus visits to take place during the second half of January, shortly after the new semester begins. Following this step, the Board of Trustees will commence with the process to select the next president of Utica College.

Keeping in mind that each of the finalists is currently serving in high level positions within his/her respective colleges/universities, we will continue to maintain confidentiality until some time in the first half of January. At that time, we will provide sufficient information that will enable you to become familiar with the candidates' backgrounds in preparation for the upcoming visits. We will of course also provide communications and invitations for constituency groups to meet with each of the finalists.

On behalf of the Search Committee, I would like to thank you for your continued enthusiasm, engagement, and support as we reach the later stages of this process.

- Mark Salsbury '79, Chair

October 2, 2015

This is just a brief message to update you on the Presidential Search and to briefly outline important upcoming milestones in the process.

As I shared with you last month, we are in the recruitment phase of the search. After this phase concludes on October 12, the Search Committee will identify the top candidates from the candidate pool. The Committee will conduct off-site interviews with the semifinalist candidates in late November. Following due diligence, the Committee will then announce up to four finalists, who will visit campus for final interviews and an opportunity to meet with various UC stakeholders.

If you have not done so already, I would encourage you to review the updated timeline that is available on this website.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee, I want to thank you again for your support and help in the search for the next president of Utica College.

- Mark Salsbury '79, Chair

September 2, 2015

I am excited to report that the preliminary phase of the Presidential Search is complete, and we are now entering into the Recruitment phase. This phase will continue through October 12, during which time we will advertise and actively recruit candidates.

With the help the UC community, we have developed a compelling position profile, which includes a position description that outlines the opportunities and challenges facing the next president as well as the key qualifications the successful candidate will possess. This important document was heavily informed by the comments and perspectives shared during the stakeholder meetings/pre-search study sessions that were held earlier this summer as well as the subsequent online survey. I invite you to review this document, as it is the Search Committee's baseline for reviewing candidates.

Our search consultants, Matthew Kilcoyne and Dr. Jean Scott of R.H. Perry and Associates, will be returning to campus on Tuesday, September 8 to solicit any additional feedback that should be considered during the search process.

We are very grateful for the level to which the UC community has engaged in this search process. With your continued contributions, we will attract many outstanding candidates as we move forward in our efforts to select the next president of Utica College.

- Mark Salsbury ’79, Chair

August 4, 2015

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the July 15-16 forums with our executive search consultants Matthew Kilcoyne and Dr. Jean Scott of R.H. Perry and Associates. I can report to you with confidence that the information and feedback we received was rich with content, highly informative, and very useful as we move forward with the search process. We want to continue the dialogue with you, our key stakeholders, as we build the job profile and begin to market both UC and the presidential opportunity.

For those who were not able to participate last month, or for those who have additional insights and perspectives to share, we have developed a brief survey to further collect feedback from the UC community.

To access the survey, which will take approximately five minutes to complete, visit

Please note:
  1. The survey is anonymous and confidential.
  2. Your responses will go directly to Mr. Kilcoyne and Dr. Scott, who will consolidate the responses and provide your feedback to the Presidential Search Committee.
We would ask that you submit your responses by August 28 for full consideration by the Presidential Search Committee. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to hearing from all of you and receiving your input.


- Mark Salsbury '79, Chair

June 22, 2015

Please take note of July 15-16, important early dates in our search for UC’s next president.

On these dates, R.H. Perry executives Matt Kilcoyne and Dr. Jean Scott will visit Utica College to conduct a pre-search study by meeting with faculty, staff, senior administration, students, alumni, donors, community leaders, and trustees. The input we receive from these meetings will assist the Search Committee in developing the position profile/description, as well as in establishing a sourcing and advertising strategy.

More specifically, these meetings will accomplish two key objectives. The first is to share general information about the search process itself and answer related questions. The second is to solicit information and comments regarding important qualifications that should be sought in candidates. This might include comments ranging from consideration of short-term and long-term challenges that UC faces to insights regarding aspects of our history or environment that makes Utica College unique, and what makes this job a great opportunity for the right candidate.

Details regarding these sessions are available in Search Notes. I encourage faculty, staff, and students to participate in this important step in the search process; for those not able to be present on these dates, please contact R.H. Perry or me directly with your input, and visit this page to stay current on actions related to the search process.

- Mark Salsbury '79, Chair

Search Notes

Search Notes is a series of communications to update members of the UC community on the progress of our search for Utica College’s next president.


Search Notes Issue #4

Search Notes Issue #3

Search Notes Issue #2

Search Notes Issue #1



Mark Salsbury '79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502