Board Chair updates community on financial situation, leadership transition


Rachel Looker, Asst. News Editor

The Board of Trustees has taken some action to address the university’s financial situation and leadership vacancies.

Dr. Ann Henry, chair of the Board of Trustees, addressed the Marywood community in a letter updating the Presidential search and providing more details about Marywood’s financial status.

On March 16, Ann Boland-Chase, vice president for enrollment services and student success, forwarded an email to students with the letter from Henry. The letter was addressed to the Marywood Campus Community.

Henry began the letter by thanking the campus community for the more than 300 ideas that have been submitted to help solve various financial issues on campus, specifically regarding revenue generation and expense management.

According to Henry, some of these submitted ideas have already been implemented, while the remainder of the ideas will be prioritized and put into effect if possible.

Board hires financial consultants, searching for interim VP of Business Affairs

Henry said in the letter that Marywood has contracted with MPK&D and Baker Tilly, two higher education financial consulting firms, to accelerate the University’s financial analysis.

According to MPK&D’s website, the consulting firm assists with the “start-up of new presidents to ensure successful institutional transitions- to executive coaching, student retention and success, strategic finance, media training and more.”

Baker Tilly is “a full-service accounting and advisory firm with specialized professionals,” according to its website.

Kent Chabotar, founding partner of MPK&D, will report directly to the Board of Trustees. Christine Smith, Baker Tilly’s representative, will be responsible for budget development and monitoring. Dr. John Lindsell and Attorney Michael Bunch, both MPK&D representatives, will cover expense management and develop a five-year financial plan for Marywood.

Henry said in the letter that the consulting firm representatives will be on campus for several weeks. Some members of the Marywood community will be asked to participate in gathering data when the consultants are on campus, said Henry in the letter.
According to Henry’s letter, these consulting firms will “work in tandem” with the Strategic Resource Allocation (SRA) process the University undertook in November.

Henry said the Board of Trustees continues to support the SRA process.

In addition to financial issues, Henry said the Board has begun searching for an Interim Vice President for Business Affairs to assist these consulting teams with Marywood’s financial analysis.

Sister Mary Persico being considered for presidential post

To conclude the letter, Henry discussed the search for the next University president.

Henry said the presidential candidate, Sr. Mary Persico IHM, will be visiting campus to meet with constituent groups. Henry said there will be an open session where Sr. Mary will make a presentation and hold a question-and-answer forum for the entire Marywood community.

According to Henry, after Sr. Mary’s presentation, feedback will be collected anonymously. The Board will consider the feedback to determine the next president.

“As we work through these months of transition, it is important for you to know that our Board will continue to seek solutions that are best for the long-term viability of this great institution,” said Henry.

Henry asks for patience and support as the financial situation is being addressed.

“Marywood touches the world every day, whether through the teaching and guidance of our faculty, the support of our administrators and staff, or the work of our alumni throughout the world,” said Henry. “I see Marywood as a force for good in the world.”

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Twitter: @RLookerTWW