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Presidential Search

The Search

When founded in 1947, Villa Julie College was a small non-residential Catholic women’s school located on a 60-acre estate in scenic Baltimore County. Fast forward to today and the transformation is breathtaking.

Knott Hall

Knott Hall on the Greenspring Campus.

Renamed Stevenson University in 2008, it is now the third largest independent university in the state of Maryland. Committed to its liberal arts core, Stevenson has over 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, seven schools with 34 degree programs and eight master’s degrees, a large and vibrant Division III athletics program, state-of-the-art research and learning facilities, and an award-winning Career ArchitectureSM model which integrates career education with a strong liberal arts curriculum.

The University is currently situated on three campuses, totaling 165 acres, and has an opportunity to acquire additional land which will enable expansion of student capacity to 10,000. This remarkable growth is due to several powerful forces: an unwavering commitment to growth; strong, courageous leadership; and, a supportive community of stakeholders. Stevenson is truly a university “on the move.”

Information for Candidates 

Download a PDF of the Position Profile

A Note to Candidates

About Search Agency: Isaacson, Miller

To apply for the position or to nominate someone, please visit Isaacson, Miller's website and use the buttons at the bottom of the page.

Evaluation of prospective candidates will begin immediately. All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including résumé and letter of interest) should be sent electronically, and in confidence, to:

Jane Gruenebaum, Sean Farrell and Nanette Blandin
Isaacson, Miller
1300 19th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036


Dr. Kevin Manning has served as the institution’s President for sixteen years. He has led the University during a period of tremendous growth. This remarkable story is documented in a report entitled From Strategy to Reality, Stevenson University, 2000-2015. In March of 2016, Dr. Manning announced his plans to retire as of June 2017.

The next President of Stevenson University will have the opportunity to usher the institution into its next phase of growth and further maturation as a leader in higher education. The Stevenson community seeks a new President with a strong commitment both to the liberal arts and to the University’s career orientation, an impressive record of scholarship and leadership, and an exemplary record of and potential for leading institutional growth.

Stevenson University has retained the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in this recruitment. This position profile draws heavily on the University’s materials, as well as from a significant number of discussions with Board members, faculty, staff, students, parents, and other stakeholders. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed, in confidence, to the search firm as indicated at the end of this document.

The University

History, Mission, Values, and Strategic Priorities

Stevenson University is an innovative, coeducational, independent institution offering undergraduate and graduate students a career-focused education marked by individualized attention, civility, and respect for difference. Throughout its history, Stevenson has committed itself to an educational experience that blends a strong liberal arts program with career exploration and planning, complementing a traditional education with applied learning beyond the classroom. The University meets students where they are and supports and challenges them to become reflective and accomplished individuals committed to a lifetime of learning and contribution.

Stevenson students graduate with the competence and confidence needed to address creatively the opportunities and problems facing their communities, the nation and the world. The clarity of Stevenson’s mission has been a great asset to the institution as it grows in an increasingly competitive and challenging higher education landscape.

The University’s vision is to become a national leader in collaborative liberal arts career-focused education that will equip its graduates to visualize and achieve excellence in a dynamic global community. Its motto Pro Discendo, Pro Vivendo (For Learning, For Living) has become further elaborated in The Stevenson Way which highlights the University’s core values – community, learning, integrity, and excellence. These are defined as follows:

  • Promoting a sense of community, the University embraces the common bonds and obligations within and beyond the campus while respecting individual and cultural differences.
  • Fostering learning, the University promotes the pursuit of theoretical and practical knowledge while encouraging a life well-lived —a lifelong philosophy of informed, critical thinking to meet evolving challenges and opportunities.
  • Instilling integrity, the University requires acting with dignity and honesty while adhering consistently to the University’s ethical codes.
  • Achieving excellence, the University lauds superior performance while recognizing the importance of persistence toward goals.

Another core value is diversity which relates to all four of the other values. The University’s statement on diversity follows:

Stevenson University commits itself to diversity as it relates to awareness, education, respect, and practice at every level of the organization. The University embraces people of all backgrounds, defined by, but not limited to, ethnicity, culture, race, gender, class, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, physical ability, learning styles, and political perspective. The University believes its core values are strengthened when all of its members have voice and representation. The resulting inclusive organizational climate promotes the development of broad-minded members of the University who positively influence their local and global communities.

Under President Manning’s leadership, the University has established a community-wide strategic planning process which produces a five year plan, and annual business plans, which are fully integrated into the University’s budgeting process. The University’s 2016-2017 business plan contains the following eleven goals:

  • Support faculty in achieving academic excellence
  • Support students in achieving academic excellence
  • Integrate academics with experiential learning
  • Prepare students for meaningful careers
  • Increase enrollment across all seven schools of the University
  • Enhance the effectiveness of both internal and external communications and activities to benefit the University’s growth and reputation
  • Inspire and promote an engaged culture of innovation, creativity, and respect among faculty and staff that reflects Stevenson’s values of community, learning, integrity, and excellence
  • Prepare for the 2017-2018 Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) self -study report and visit
  • Integrate academic affairs initiatives and priorities more effectively in co-curricular programs
  • Enhance student learning by delivering a quality campus life experience with a focus on activities and athletics
  • Enhance financial resources

Additional information about the plan, including special work objectives, can be found on the University’s website.


The University is led by the President who reports to the Board of Trustees. The Board has been a key partner in achieving Stevenson’s growth. The Board consists of twenty-five members, many of whom are prominent business leaders. The current Chair of the Board is James B. Stradtner, who is Managing Partner of Century Private Investments. The Vice Chair of the Board, who is also chairing the Presidential Search Committee, is T. Scott Pugatch, President of Greenhill Properties, Inc.

The Treasurer of the Board is Arthur F. Bell, Jr., who is Managing Member of Arthur Bell CPAs. The current Board Secretary is Anna L. Smith, Group Vice President, Family Wealth, Wilmington Trust. The President’s Advisory Council is composed of 64 business, civic, and educational leaders. The Council meets twice every year to examine critical issues facing Stevenson and more broadly, higher education.

Campuses and Facilities

Stevenson’s founding campus, the Greenspring Campus, is located in the scenic Greenspring Valley. Although surrounded by horse farms and estates, the wooded campus is just 12 miles from downtown Baltimore. The campus is one of the academic hubs of the University community and is home to the popular outdoor Summer Serenades Concerts of Stevenson’s orchestra, and the 330 seat Inscape Theatre, as well as administrative offices of the University.

Located six miles (and about 12 minutes) from the Greenspring Campus, the Owings Mills Campus includes 13 residential buildings; classrooms and study lounges; the 10,000 square foot Ratcliffe Community Center; Caves Sports and Wellness Center; Owings Mills Gymnasium; the School of Graduate and Professional Studies; and the Brown School of Business and Leadership. The campus also includes the Rockland Center, which offers a variety of food stations and seating options, as well as meeting areas for gatherings of student clubs and organizations.

In addition, the campus boasts the $7 million, multi-purpose Mustang Stadium. The stadium includes general admission seating for 3,000 fans and a two-story press box that features a club level with 440 club seats, patio, President's Suite, 6,400-square foot fitness center and press level with home and visiting coaches boxes, home and visiting radio booths, television and video suites, and space for general media and game day administration.

Adjacent is the Owings Mills North Campus where the School of Design, with contemporary video and design studios, is located and where, in fall 2016, the University’s new Academic Center will open. The center will be the largest building on the campus, exceeding 200,000 square feet, and will house the School of the Sciences with its state-of-the-art of laboratories and the School of Health Professions. Additional space for the School of Design and a knowledge commons will be available to all students.

The University currently has plans underway to more fully connect the campuses and to acquire additional land that will enable expansion to 10,000 students.

Students and Student Life

During academic year 2015, Stevenson had a student body of 4,185 students – 3,700 undergraduates and 485 graduate students. The size and composition of the student body has changed dramatically over the years. For example, students now come from 32 states and 10 countries.

Despite the growth in enrollment, the University has retained important elements of a Stevenson education – most notably, a friendly, close knit community; a strong culture in which students are not statistics but enjoy personalized attention and small classroom size; an enviable 13:1 student/faculty ratio; and a very supportive faculty and staff. Students value greatly the wide range of campus activities and the many opportunities they have to be leaders.

Academic Programs

Stevenson’s comprehensive university model encompasses seven schools:

Brown School of Business and Leadership

School of Design

School of Education

School of Health Professions

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

School of the Sciences

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Stevenson’s academic programs are accredited by the following organizations: American Bar Association; Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities; Council for Standards in Human Service Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Maryland State Department of Education; National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences; and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Career ArchitectureSM

Stevenson University’s award winning Career ArchitectureSM process guides students through a career management plan during all four years of their university experience. The process includes planning meetings with career advisors, individual assessments, community service, reflection activities, mentoring and coaching, experiential learning opportunities, skills workshops, service-learning, internships, participation in job fairs, résumé preparation, shadowing, mock interviews, networking support, and online resources. Not only is this commitment a distinctive feature of a Stevenson education, it has produced tangible results. According to a recent survey by the University, 93% of Stevenson graduates found a job or continued their education within six months of graduating.


The development and expansion of Stevenson’s athletic program has been an important element of the University’s growth strategy that has energized the entire campus community and had a very positive impact on student enrollment and retention. The University currently has 27 NCAA Division III sports, a wide range of intramural and club sports teams, cheer and dance teams, and a marching band. Approximately 700 students are involved in varsity sports and another 500 in intramural and club sports.

In 2005, Stevenson acquired the former Baltimore Colts and Ravens training facility, and constructed a world class gymnasium, stadium and field for its beloved Mustangs. Designed to rival any facility found in Division III athletics, the stadium accommodates football, lacrosse, and soccer on two synthetic turf fields and provides a host of amenities for athletes, the fans, and the press.


For Fiscal Year 2015, Stevenson reported total income of $137 million, of which almost $100 million was derived from tuition and fees. Other revenue sources include state and federal government grants, investment income, and contributions. Stevenson’s endowment is over $75 million.

Challenges and Opportunities for the Next President

Stevenson’s history is a story of rapid and successful growth. The next President will bridge this past with Stevenson’s future. He/she will have the opportunity to lead this strong and vibrant university to reach even greater aspirations.

OM Campus      OMN Campus

Aerial shots of Owings Mills Campus and Owings Mills North Campus.

To do so, the next President will address the following key challenges and opportunities:

Continue the growth trajectory of the University
The next President of Stevenson must be committed to strategic growth and expansion, by capitalizing on future opportunities, astutely assessing business and operational ramifications, and managing all of the support systems that will make such growth viable and supported.

Continue to strengthen the University’s academic program
There is broad consensus that the University’s academic program must advance to be even more competitive. Attention will be focused on several fronts including: the addition of full -time faculty; enhanced support for teaching, scholarship and professional development; the development of new academic programs; and the identification and enhanced utilization of emerging technologies in the classroom.

Position Stevenson for long-term financial sustainability
While Stevenson is strong financially, it depends heavily upon meeting enrollment targets and traditional sources of tuition. To strengthen the institution’s long-term financial sustainability, continued effort is needed to leverage the University’s strong brand and reputation, to build an active alumni base, and to identify additional sources of enrollment, revenue, and development.

Expand the University’s infrastructure, governance and management capabilities
Increased priority is needed to bolster systems and capabilities to support a larger, more sophisticated enterprise. These include infrastructure and equipment, maintenance support, and management and administrative systems. In addition, the University’s governance system needs to evolve as the institution matures. The next President needs to explore ways of more actively engaging others i n the governance process and empowering leaders throughout the University.

Continue to build Stevenson’s visibility and engagement beyond the Campus
A first order of magnitude for the next President is the University’s close relationship with the nearby community and the region. Building relationships among local citizens, civic leaders and others is an essential priority. Further, as the University’s reputation increases, greater visibility and engagement in the state, nation, and even globally, will be important.


Stevenson University seeks an ambitious, energetic, capable, courageous, and collaborative leader who can help propel the University to its next levels of growth, impact and reputation. The University seeks someone who is excited about and can excite others about the University’s great potential and who has the character and skills to achieve an inspiring and ambitious future vision. While no single candidate is likely to possess all of the ideal qualifications, the Search Committee has identified the following personal and professional qualities as especially critical:

  • A deep appreciation and enthusiasm for Stevenson’s mission and respect for its history, culture and values.
  • Ambition, entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen combined with substantial relevant experience to continue the University’s growth trajectory and enhance its local, national and international stature.
  • Outstanding background in higher education with strong teaching and scholarly experience. A record of advancing the academic enterprise with in a college or university.
  • Successful administrative leadership including strategic and financial planning, management systems, and experience engaging diverse stakeholders.
  • An engaged leader who is able to assume a prominent role in leveraging the University’s brand and reputation by building strong relationships within the community and throughout the region.
  • A deep commitment to students and advancing their education and career development.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence.
  • An excellent communicator with an open and approachable style.
  • A collaborative leadership approach that values multiple views, dialogue with diverse stakeholders, transparency, and shared governance.

You may also view and/or download a PDF of the Invitation to Apply for the Position of President at Stevenson University.

Application Process

Evaluation of prospective candidates will begin immediately. All inquiries, nominations/referrals, and applications (including résumé and letter of interest) should be sent electronically, and in confidence, to:

Jane Gruenebaum, Sean Farrell and Nanette Blandin
Isaacson, Miller
1300 19th Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Stevenson University is an equal employment opportunity employer and seeks a diverse pool of candidates for this search.