University community invited to attend upcoming listening sessions

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) Board of Trustees has announced the members of the search committee that will work into the spring to help select the next president of the University of New Hampshire. President James W. Dean, Jr. announced that he will retire on June 30, 2024, after serving as president since 2018.    

The committee, appointed by USNH Board Chair Alex Walker, is composed of representatives of the principal stakeholder groups from each of the UNH campuses. In collaboration with executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, the committee will lead a search process that reflects the best practices of the higher education hiring environment to attract and recruit an outstanding pool of candidates.

Members of the UNH Presidential Search Committee are:

  • Jamie Burnett, Search Committee Chair, USNH Trustee and Vice Chair of the Board    
  • Cathy Green, Search Committee Vice Chair, USNH Trustee
  • Kass Ardinger, Secretary, USNH Trustee
  • Kevin Knarr, USNH Trustee
  • Katie Bouton, Vice Chair, UNH Foundation Board
  • Gina Damiano, UNH Professional, Administrative & Technical Council Chair
  • Sam Despins, UNH Alumni Board
  • Michele Dillon, Dean, UNH College of Liberal Arts
  • Vidya Sundar, UNH Faculty Senate Chair
  • Marc Laferriere, UNH Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Amy Loader, UNH Cooperative Extension
  • Michael McCann, UNH Franklin Pierce School of Law
  • Wendy Monroe, UNH Operating Staff Council Chair
  • Olesia Pavlenko, Graduate Student Representative
  • Nadine Petty, UNH Chief Diversity Officer
  • Bill Troy, UNH-M Senior Lecturer

“There is no more important task we could be entrusted with than selecting the next leader of UNH,” Walker says. “The Board of Trustees would like to express its gratitude to every member of the search committee for their participation in this process.”

Later this month, the committee will begin a series of listening sessions to solicit input and feedback from the university community and other key stakeholders. In addition to three open-invitation sessions, which will be hosted in a hybrid format on each UNH campus, the committee will hold sessions designated for specific audiences, including students and faculty. These sessions will help the committee and the search firm better understand the opportunities and challenges ahead of the university, and build the search profile that will be used to recruit candidates for the role.  

“Feedback from the UNH community is critical to this process, and we look forward to hearing from the constituency groups what they are looking for in the next UNH president,” says Jamie Burnett, chair of the search committee. “The search committee is excited to be getting underway with this important work and is committed to our responsibility of identifying a leader with an inspiring vision for UNH and a passion for higher learning, advanced research, and service to the Granite State.”

The candidate profile and other pertinent information on the search will continue to be posted to the Presidential Transition webpage as it becomes available. Additional information on the search process can be found on that page, including the FAQs that have been posted. Questions or comments on the process can also be shared through the page.

The search committee is responsible for making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on the new president, and the Board has set a goal of appointing a new president by the end of April 2024.