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Presidential Search

Salem State University Launches Search for its 14th President

On January 5, 2017, President Patricia Maguire Meservey announced her plans to retire after a decade of leadership. 

In speaking of her decision, President Meservey emphasized the importance of leaving while the university is in a position of strength, thus allowing a successor to build on great momentum. 

The Presidential Search Committee is embarking on a national search that engages the entire Salem State community and beyond. Please use this page as your primary resource for updates and information on Salem State University’s search for its 14th president.

Presidential Search Leadership Profile

Presidential Search Information

  • Presidential Search Committee

    After soliciting nominations from the campus community, the Board of Trustees recommended a search committee representing the diversity of Salem State University’s disciplines and community. On January 25, 2017, Salem State University’s Board of Trustees approved the below list of the search committee members, as follows: 

    • Teresa Chisholm    Trustee, Chair of the Committee
    • Robert Lutts    Trustee, Vice Chair of the Committee
    • Tyrone Brown '08    Customer Support Agent, ITS (AFSCME); Alumnus
    • Elizabeth Cabral '17    Student Trustee 
    • Joseph Cambone    Dean, School of Education (Non-unit)
    • Elisa Castillo    Assistant Dean, Wellness, Student Life (APA)
    • Gina Deschamps ‘92G    President, SSU Foundation; Alumna; Business Leader
    • Donna Hills    Associate Professor, Nursing, College of Health and Human Services (MSCA)
    • Miranda Lam    Chair, Accounting and Finance, Bertolon School of Business (MSCA)
    • Oscar Malcolm    Trustee
    • Dena Papanikolaou    General Counsel, Department of Higher Education
    • Pierre (Peter) Walker    Professor, English, College of Arts and Sciences (MSCA)
    • Paul Mattera    Chair, Board of Trustees, ex-officio
    • Mark Quigley    Assistant Vice President, Human Resources and Equal Opportunity; Affirmative Action Officer, non-voting

    If you have questions about the search committee, please contact:
    Lynne Montague

  • Prospectus

    The search committee has prepared a prospectus providing detailed information about Salem State University and outlining the desired attributes of its 14th president.

    The full prospectus is available for review


    As the presidential search committee works to identify the highest quality candidates, it will adhere to the guidelines set forth by Massachusetts’ Board of Higher Education.



    Salem State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Persons of color, women and persons with disabilities are strongly urged to apply.

  • Position Synopsis


    Salem State University seeks a visionary and collaborative president to build on its history of success and lead the university to the next level of achievement. 

    Salem State is on the move. Designated a university in 2010, the university has been energized by new state-of-the-art facilities, an increase in freshmen applications, improved student graduation and retention rates, growing alumni engagement, talented leadership throughout the organization and an expanding role in the region.

    Located just 15 miles north of Boston, Salem State is one of the largest state universities in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is an important partner in the economic, cultural and intellectual vitality of the greater north-of- Boston region. Situated in the historic seacoast city of Salem, Massachusetts on more than 115 acres and five campuses, Salem State provides a diverse community of over 9,000 students a high quality, student-centered education; one that prepares them to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society and to serve as a resource to advance the region’s cultural, social and economic development.  

    The university supports a full-time faculty of over 350 and offers 32 undergraduate degree programs in the liberal arts, human services and business, along with graduate degrees in programs such as education, science, humanities, business, criminal justice, and nursing, among others. The university also has a continuing education division that offers both credit and non-credit programs.

    With a 15 to 1 undergraduate student to faculty ratio, student learning opportunities are personal and collaborative, yet large enough to broaden students’ understanding of their world. The university’s students hail from 28 states and 63 countries. The university is proud that 34.8 percent of its 2016 freshman class self-identified as being students of color. Salem State has over 65 student groups and clubs, 15 varsity teams along with intramural sports, and hundreds of student activities scheduled throughout the year. The university has a nationally award-winning residence life program. One-third of the undergraduate degree-seeking population, including two-thirds of the freshman class, lives on campus. More information about the university and the presidential search can be found at; a complete leadership profile will be available for review in early March.  

    Salem State’s president will be a high energy leader of people and programs with outstanding relationship-building, communication and interpersonal skills. To be successful, the president must possess: the capacity to articulate and implement a shared vision; a commitment to shared governance; a record of successful administrative experience; an external community relations perspective; and proven financial management skills. The ideal candidate will have an earned terminal degree; in exceptional cases, personal and professional experience may be considered in lieu thereof. The ideal candidate will demonstrate a track record for creating and strengthening relationships with multiple stakeholders. Successful, hands-on experience with constituent relations and fundraising is essential. 

    Confidential inquiries, requests, nominations, and applications are invited. Review of applications will begin on March 31, 2017, and continue until the position is filled. Candidates should provide a resume or CV, letter of application and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of candidates. These materials should be sent electronically via email to Salem State University’s search consultants at



    The search is being assisted by Witt Kieffer. For a confidential discussion of this position prior to applying or nominatingplease contact Lucy Leske or Ann Yates.  

  • Meetings and Updates


    In compliance with Open Meeting Law, the search committee will ensure that our meetings are open to the public whenever possible, while holding closed meetings to protect the confidentially of candidates until finalists are announced.

    April 12, 2017 Search Committee Meeting Petrowski Conference Room (Marsh 210)
    March 29, 2017 Search Committee Meeting Petrowski Conference Room (Marsh 210)
    March 1, 2017 Search Committee Meeting Petrowski Conference Room (Marsh 210) 
    February 17, 2017  Search Committee Meeting MLK Room, Ellison Campus Center


    The below updates have been provided to Salem State students, faculty and staff to-date.


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