Presidential Search 2021-22

Dear Members of the Mount Mary University Community,

With the pending retirement of President Christine Pharr, Ph.D., the Board of Trustees is engaged in the process of identifying her successor.

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This web page serves as a portal for the MMU community to offer input on the presidential search. Here you will find information on our search committee and consultants, opportunities for online feedback, and regular updates, as the search unfolds. We welcome input from the Mount Mary community and our institutional partners.

Presidential Search Committee members include trustees, School Sisters of Notre Dame, faculty, staff, students, and alumnae. This diverse group is charged with engaging the campus in the search process and providing information to the Board of Trustees, to inform their decisions.

To help facilitate our search, Mount Mary has engaged the services of WittKieffer, a national consulting firm with broad experience in placing higher education leaders. Our consultants, Greg Duyck and Sheila Murphy, have led presidential searches for Catholic institutions, women’s colleges, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

To nominate potential presidential candidates, or to send inquiries or comments to the search committee and consultants, please email

The position posting and profile are available through this link.

It is the intention of the Search Committee to bring all finalists to campus and announce the appointment of a new President in the spring. This will allow for some overlap between Dr. Pharr and her successor. Dr. Pharr will retire on June 30, 2022, and thus our new President will begin formally on July 1, 2022.

Please keep the presidential search in your prayers, over the coming months. Your input is welcome at every step. We look forward to a process that reflects the mission and community spirit that is at the heart of Mount Mary.

A Prayer of Solidarity for our Mount Mary Presidential Search

Loving Triune God, we give you thanks and praise for the abundant graces you bestow upon us as we serve you in the spirit and charism of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

We ask you to bless our sisters and brothers in SSND ministries who are in the process of hiring and welcoming new leaders in mission. Reveal to them qualified candidates who are open to and will support our SSND ministry ideals. Help them to select individuals who will lead with humility and courage and in ways that will help others reach their potential.

May those entrusted with the leadership of the selection process be guided by a spirit of collaboration and wisdom; may their dialogue be open and their discernment clear.

God of all Wisdom, bless and strengthen all who join in the mission of the School Sisters of Notre Dame so that all might continue the mission of Jesus, that all be one.

Through Mary, our Mother, may we all continue to serve the Triune God all our lives with joy, to obey God and love God above all.


By Joan Andert, SSND
Director of SSND Ministries


Stephanie Russell
Chair, Mount Mary Board of Trustees
Search Committee Co-chair


Mary Jo Layden
Chair, Governance Committee
Search Committee Co-chair




Read remarks to the Mount Mary Community on the Transition of Dr. Pharr by Board of Trustee Chair Stephanie Russell.

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