Holy Names University
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Holy Names University has made remarkable strides over the course of Sister Nassif’s tenure as President. Under her direction, HNU has increased enrollment to its highest in history, strengthened finances, improved academic offerings, and completed a $7M campaign to fully renovate the science facilities and open a new student center. The university’s next leader will inherit an institution with a solid financial footing at a new level of growth and vitality. The five year strategic plan, implemented in 2007, has been instrumental in the University reaching its goals in measureable timelines and steps. The next President will continue to ensure that the goals of the strategic plan are met and the values of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary are preserved and woven into the fabric of new programs and initiatives. S/he will also continue to build on the unique opportunities for expansion of programs, facilities and involvement in the surrounding community of Oakland and beyond.

Key priorities that will shape the agenda of the new President include:
  • Sustain the Catholic identity and mission of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. The President will be expected to build and nurture the culture of the institution, articulating and personifying the values derived from the heritage of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary.
  • Expand the university’s engagement with the philanthropic community. The well defined current development/fund raising strategy has produced ongoing positive results and must continue. The new President must plan and execute a strategy that will maintain existing and develop new relationships.
  • Cultivate and maintain positive relationships. Building strong relationships with the local community, alumni, and donors and expanding the visibility and reputation of the university regionally and nationally are important strategic goals of the new President. S/he will ensure an active dialogue with external constituencies by encouraging key partnerships, engaging in advancement activities, and supporting faculty in applying for grants.
  • Oversee the development and funding of a capital improvement plan. As HNU grows, attention must be paid to upgrading the campus facilities and developing future capital projects. The new President must guide the creation and implementation of a capital plan and fundraise to support it.
  • Manage and plan for the financial, enrollment and operational health of the University. Strengthening of finances, growth of enrollment, and development of infrastructure have been noteworthy achievements of the current President. Continued successful management and thoughtful planning in these areas will remain essential. Growing enrollment, broadening the geographical profile of its student body, and reducing the current 50% discount rate are all important objectives for the next President.
  • Lead the continuing effort to enhance diversity within the student body and, in particular, among faculty, administration, board and staff.
  • Advance the marketing and public relations efforts of the university. The new President must make it a priority to raise awareness of the university locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Lead further improvements in quality of life for students, faculty and staff. The President must address issues including the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning, the development of student organizations and opportunities, and the oversight of campus security and disaster preparedness.
The Ideal Candidate

Holy Names University seeks a charismatic, creative, collaborative, and energetic Roman Catholic leader with the ability to inspire students, faculty, staff, and alumni around a shared vision for the future. The new President will build on the excellent work of the previous President to develop, articulate and promote this vision while generating the resources to implement it. Desired skills, experience, and qualifications include:

  • The candidate must be a Roman Catholic in good standing within the church and must be willing to embrace and personify the Catholic mission of the university and the tradition of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, and to promote priorities in line with this mission;
  • A terminal degree is required, as is a record of teaching and scholarship that qualifies the candidate for appointment as a tenured professor;
  • A track record of success as a senior administrator with responsibility for a diverse portfolio; experience leading an academic community through a time of significant change and growth; • Fiscal and budget experience that combines both an understanding of finance and the realities of enrollment-driven budgets;
  • Excellent communication skills; the ability to energize, inspire and empower senior administrators; an ability to become a strong ambassador for and provide vision to faculty, parents, students, staff, and alumni
  • An established record in fundraising and strategic planning, as well as an ability to engage the broader community in support of the University through strategic partnerships
  • A managerial style that is personable, consensus building, and inclusive; personal qualities that insure transparency in governance and the highest standards of honesty and integrity;
  • A working knowledge of a broad array of intellectual disciplines and programs, as well as a demonstrated ability to work with diverse constituencies;
  • A thorough understanding of the goals and values of a Catholic liberal arts education in the 21st century, and how it supports professional preparation;
  • A personal commitment to the education of a racially and culturally diverse student body and a record of recruiting and supporting faculty and administrators to advance the diversity of the institution;
  • Evidence of successful interactions with a Board of Trustees;
  • Energy, passion, flexibility, and an abiding sense of humor.
William Hynes
William J. Hynes, Ph.D.