The search for Cabrini’s next president

17 & UNDER ROUND TWO - JUNE 12, 2022 - joelperlish (1)

By Izabella Cipresso
October 24, 2022

A stone sign engraved with the words Cabrini University. The sign lays behind yellow and white flowers.
Cabrini University's entrance. Photo by Izabella Cipresso.

A common question surrounding Cabrini since President Donald Taylor resigned is, “Who will be the next president of Cabrini University?”

While no one is certain who the new leader will be, faculty, staff, and board of trustee members have stressed the need for someone who will benefit Cabrini while being communicative and engaging.

A women sitting in a chair in the right of the image talking to someone off camera to her left.
Amy Persichetti talks about the Cabrini happenings. Photo by Erica Zebrowski.

Amy Persichetti, chair of writing and narrative arts, said, “Any leadership we get at this point would be an improvement from what we’ve experienced. I don’t want to be negative, but [Donald Taylor] just didn’t do his job. … Our new president needs to have real knowledge of the workings of the campus.”

A search for the most capable candidate is underway. The co-chairs of the Presidential Search Committee are hoping to select a new president by the 2023-2024 school year. Until the next president’s inauguration, Helen Drinan serves as Cabrini’s interim president.

Update on the search for a new president

In Feb. 2022, when Cabrini announced its need for a new president, the board of trustees selected Andrew Brady and Mary Beth Sankewicz to be co-chairs of the Presidential Search Committee. They are directing the operation alongside an outside consulting company.

“We’ve selected a recruiting firm. We chose Storbeck Search, after an extensive process. Right now, we are identifying the committee. Once that happens, we’ll be able to move into that next phase, which is having on-campus meetings, surveys, setting up a position profile, campus interviews, and then we’ll get further into it,” Brady said. 

The Presidential Search Committee will be seven trustees, two faculty, one cabinet, one staff, one alumnus, and the student government association president. These 13 people and Storbeck Search will select potential candidates and provide reports to the board of trustees. It is the responsibility of the trustees to appoint the president.

Cabrini's presidential suite located in the mansion. Glass door with brown trim and brown wood panels.
The presidential suite at Cabrini University. Photo by Erica Zebrowski.

Throughout the search, the group will seek an individual who displays leadership, encourages morale, has fiscal sensibility, renews a sense of community, confronts the challenges of our times, and enhances the university. It will take time to find a perfect match, but the co-chairs are committed to completing the task swiftly.

Dr. Paul Wright, associative professor and faculty assembly chair, said, “Every last person on campus needs to be patient with the process because it is not always easy, and it takes a lot of work. … There are a lot of twists and turns in this process, and it can take longer than you think.”

The outcome of the extensive search will affect Cabrini’s future. Wright, Dr. Richard Thompson, Persichetti, Brady, and Sankewicz all said the university is ready for a change that will align with Cabrini’s mission. 

Educate the hearts

Cabrini University was founded by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus over 65 years ago. The order was founded by Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini who encouraged her followers to “educate the hearts.” 

“Education of the heart” has been identified in the core values of respect, vision, community, and dedication to excellence. The administration, faculty, and staff follow these values to ensure every student’s success.

“Whether it is the faculty or the folks in the student support areas, everyone is really focused on the mission. The most fundamental part of that mission is helping our students to succeed,” said Thompson, dean of arts and sciences.

Plenty of factors will affect the search process, but one that’s non-negotiable is a president who encompasses the goals of the Cabrini mission. 

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17 & UNDER ROUND TWO - JUNE 12, 2022 - joelperlish (1)

Izabella Cipresso

Meet Bella Cipresso, the face behind the article. Bella is a 20 year old studying digital communication and social media at Cabrini University. The program has allowed for classroom learning to become experimental learning. Bella is currently an intern at Teacher Time To Go, leading their social media and marketing, and previously led two nonprofits to fund charitable organizations around the world. The goal of Bella's work is to combine her love for philanthropy with her communication skills and build a better world.

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