Madonna University — President

Madonna University seeks an innovative, energetic, and collaborative educational leader to serve as its next President. Located in Livonia, Michigan, the University is an independent, coeducational, Catholic, liberal arts university founded and sponsored by the Felician Sisters of North America. The University serves a diverse student body and offers a student-centered environment informed by the Felician and Franciscan values of respect for the dignity of each person, peace and justice, reverence for creation, and education for truth and service.

The Institution: Founded in 1937, Madonna University offers a strong general education curriculum integrated with liberal arts and career-oriented majors, including more than 60 bachelor’s degrees, 70 certificates, and 30 master’s and doctoral programs, including doctoral degrees in education and nursing. The University offers academic programs through five colleges/schools, each directed by a dean: Arts & Sciences, Business, Education and Human Development, Nursing & Health, and the Graduate School. Through growth and development, the institution has become one of the nation’s largest Franciscan universities with a combined undergraduate and graduate student body of approximately 2,100 students, approximately 450 of whom live on campus in residence halls. A student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1 ensures personal attention in its small classes. The mission of Madonna University, a Catholic institution of higher learning, is to instill in its students, Christian humanistic values, intellectual inquiry, a respect for diversity, and a commitment to serving others through a liberal arts education, integrated with career preparation, and based on the truths and principles recognized within a Felician Franciscan tradition. The student body is racially and religiously diverse. Hundreds of students receive additional tutoring through the Center for Personalized Instruction, the Writing Center, and the Counseling and Disability Resources Center. The University boasts a brand-new Welcome Center, the Performing Arts, Athletic, and Academic Center, the Madonna Athletics Complex, the award winning Franciscan Center for Science and Media, which achieved Gold status for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design–a testament to the University’s reverence for creation, and a chapel. Additionally, just this fall, the University occupied a new fourth residence hall in response to increasing demand for on-campus housing. In response to student needs, the University also offers instruction beyond its main campus, with sites in Gaylord, Southfield, Dearborn, and Macomb. In addition to its strong academic programs, the University also is a member of the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC), the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and fields 22 men’s and women’s varsity sports teams. Madonna graduates are well regarded and received by employers in the metropolitan Detroit area and the University enjoys a positive relationship with its surrounding communities. The Felician Sisters, the University’s sponsoring order, embrace a mission of cooperating with Christ for the spiritual renewal of the world. Also located on or near campus are numerous Felician-sponsored ministries that reflect the Franciscan values, including a Montessori school, a childcare center, a nursing care center, a senior clergy village, and a hospice center. More information about Madonna University and the Felician Sisters can be found at and

The Position: The University requires a President who will further build the academic profile and quality reputation of the institution, facilitate student and faculty recruitment, develop and nurture an experienced and talented administrative staff, and strengthen and increase fundraising and financial stability. The strong support of Madonna’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, and others offers the new President an exceptional opportunity to provide the leadership these key stakeholders demand. The President must engage the entire community in reflecting, visioning, and planning for the future of the institution. She/he must embrace diversity in thought and action and model a life of intellectual achievement, acceptance and inclusion within the Catholic spirit and Franciscan values. The President must engage the community in discussions of the academic mission and programs, encourage the setting and achievement of high standards, and serve as an external interpreter and enthusiastic spokesperson for the University. The following five senior administrative positions report directly to the President: the Provost and Vice President for Academic Administration, the Vice President for Advancement, the Chief of Staff, the Vice President for Student Affairs and Mission Integration, and the Vice President for Enrollment Services.

Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have the ability to demonstrate that they are a knowledgeable, committed, active, practicing member of the Roman Catholic faith who shares an appreciation of Madonna’s distinctive culture and values in the Felician Franciscan tradition, and is dedicated to building on its strong Catholic and Franciscan identity and maintaining its unique position in higher education. The new President will have a record of significant and successful higher education administrative experience, with particularly strong skills in financial management and the development and maintenance of fair and effective budgets. A strong communicator, the new President will promote the University’s mission and vision with spirit and conviction. They will bring aptitude, experience, and passion for recruiting others to support a distinctive institution financially; including the ability to work closely and effectively with the Board of Trustees and engage the Board in friend-raising and fundraising. The new President will have a collaborative leadership style that incorporates negotiation and diplomacy skills to effectively utilize the talents of faculty and staff, to build upon relationships, and to maintain a sense of community. Candidates must hold a terminal degree, along with the requisite commitment, enthusiasm, and sense of humor required of a president.

Location: Conveniently located in the center of southeastern Michigan, one of the most diverse and culturally rich regions of the United States, Madonna’s main campus encompasses more than 90 scenic acres and is a short commute from Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing, Toledo, Ohio and Windsor, Canada. In addition, Madonna University offers degree programs in Dearborn, Gaylord, Macomb, and Southfield, Michigan, and online in the United Arab Emirates, and Haiti. More information about southeastern Michigan can be found at:

Application: Interested candidates should submit only a cover letter and résumé to RPA Inc. at For a confidential discussion about this opportunity or to make a nomination, please contact Isaac Karaffa, vice president and senior consultant, or Dana John Cohick, president at the email address above. To receive priority consideration, submissions must be received by November 28, 2022. First-round interviews will commence thereafter.

MADONNA UNIVERSITY A Catholic institution founded by the Felician Sisters of North America, and guided by the values of St. Francis of Assisi. Candidates must be committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service, and support the Mission of the University. We are an equal opportunity employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire.