Presidential Search

Search Updates

April 3, 2018

Dr. Jason. N. Adsit, the seventh full-time president of Mount Saint Mary College, will begin serving the college on July 1, 2018.Following a national search and valuable input from the Mount community, Charles Frank, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Mount Saint Mary College, announced today that Dr. Jason N. Adsit has been named the next president of the college.

In a unanimous vote, the Board has selected Dr. Adsit as the Mount’s seventh full-time president, succeeding interim president Dr. David A. Kennett, who was appointed in August of 2016. Dr. Adsit will begin his service at the Mount on June 1, 2018.

“At the outset, our Search Committee was focused on finding a candidate who would bring dynamic change and leadership to Mount Saint Mary College, while recognizing the deep value of our Catholic and Dominican roots,” said Board Chair Charles Frank. “Equally important was the candidate’s ability to make a long-term commitment to the college, as stability in leadership is key to our future success. Dr. Adsit brings all of that and more, including a broad range of experiences from his work at both research and faith-based institutions. His personality is electric, and he will bring a youthful enthusiasm to our campus that will be contagious at every level. We are thrilled to have him join the Mount Saint Mary College family as its leader!” 

Dr. Adsit joins Mount Saint Mary College from D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y., where he served as Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences & Education, as well as Director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. As chief academic officer, Dr. Adsit oversaw all undergraduate and graduate programs in the School, including the departments of Biology & Mathematics, Business, Chemistry, Education, and Liberal Arts. Among many accomplishments there, Dr. Adsit developed and implemented undergraduate programs in Spanish and Religious Studies, graduate programs in Curriculum and Instruction and Anatomy, a fully-online MBA program, and a broad range of new minors; secured more than $500,000 in grants for programs to aid the college and the community; and fostered new enrollment partnerships, such as articulation agreements with Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.; the Orchard Park Central School District in West Seneca, N.Y.; and JBCN International Schools in Mumbai, India.

“I am humbled and honored to be joining the Mount Saint Mary College community,” said Dr. Adsit. “I look forward to working with the Mount’s talented students, faculty, and staff – as well as its dedicated alumni, parents, and friends – to build upon its tradition of innovation and academic excellence. It was clear to me from the outset of this process that the Mount is a special place where the values and ideals of the Dominican Sisters find continued expression through the great work of everyone associated with the College.” 

The 15-member Presidential Search Committee included Mount trustees, faculty members, administrators, an alumnus, and a student. The committee was co-chaired by Mount Board Vice-Chair Sister Margaret Anderson and Trustee Anna Halpine.

“Jason brings energy, enthusiasm, and experience to his new role as President of Mount Saint Mary College,” said Board Vice-Chair Sister Margaret Anderson. “I congratulate him as he begins to lead the college in the Dominican tradition based on our four Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community, and service.”

“My wife Heather and I are delighted to join this wonderful community. I’m fired up, and can’t wait to get to work,” said Dr. Adsit. “I’d like to thank Sr. Margaret, Anna Halpine, and the entire search committee for their extraordinary efforts – as well as Charles Frank and the Board of Trustees for their warm welcome to the Newburgh community. In addition, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Kennett, whose excellent work as Interim President has set the stage for continued growth and development at the College.”

The Mount Saint Mary College community extends its heartfelt thanks to Interim President Dr. David Kennett for his many contributions over the past two years, including his steadfast dedication to the Mount’s continued success; the wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff; and the enrichment of the surrounding community. 

“David stepped into the role of Interim President at a difficult time, and did so with enthusiasm and grace,” said Board Chair Charles Frank. “He has done everything we asked of him and more, and has left an indelible impression on all facets of the Mount Saint Mary College community and its surroundings. David and his wife Susan have represented the Mount admirably at every level, and they will forever be part of our community. We sincerely thank both of them for the healing and stability they brought through their efforts.”

Bio: Dr. Jason N. Adsit, seventh full-time president of Mount Saint Mary College

Before coming to Mount Saint Mary College, Dr. Jason N. Adsit served D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y. as Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences & Education and Director of the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program. He oversaw all undergraduate and graduate programs in the School – five programs in total.

During his tenure at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., Dr. Adsit took the role of Associate Provost for Academic Administration, where he managed the University’s compliance and regulatory affairs with state agencies and national organizations in the design and implementation of new programs.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Adsit served as Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at SUNY Buffalo and as Assistant Dean for Institutional Research and Assessment at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

Dr. Adsit has written many scholarly articles on a variety of topics, with his work appearing in the National Teaching and Learning Forum, The American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, and the Journal of Educational Technology Systems, among others. For nearly a decade, he has been a professional reviewer for the Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT), American Journal of Distance Education (AJDE), Educational Technology and Society, and Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice.

He is also an accomplished speaker, most recently presenting “DIY Assessment of General Education” at the Drexel University Assessment Conference. Dr. Adsit discussed online assessment at the 2015 Ithaca College EdTECH Day and gave the keynote address – “Assessing Student Learning and Engagement Inside and Outside the Classroom” – at the WNY Assessment Consortium at SUNY-Brockport. 

Dr. Adsit earned a doctoral degree in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from American University in Washington, DC.

About Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College is a private, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college, located in Newburgh in the mid-Hudson Valley region of New York State. It was founded in 1959 by the Dominican Sisters. The campus overlooks the Hudson River, halfway between New York City and Albany. About 2,700 men and women are enrolled in more than 50 undergraduate programs and three graduate degree programs. The Knights compete in NCAA Division III athletics in the Skyline Conference.


March 22, 2018

Dear Mount Saint Mary Family and Friends,

I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting the announcement of our new President. As was mentioned in the February 26th update, our Search Committee worked hard and long to recommend three finalists to the Board of Trustees. The Board met on February 25th, and selected one of the finalists as the next full-time President for Mount Saint Mary College.

Since that time, a team of Board members and other key individuals has been working on the creation and finalization of a contract that formalizes the hiring of our new President. I am happy to report that, as of yesterday, we have reached that goal! As a result of this successful negotiation, I am thrilled to invite each and every one of you to a formal announcement, introducing our new President to the Mount Saint Mary Community. This announcement will be held on Tuesday, April 3rd, at 12:15 PM in the Aquinas Hall Theatre.  

I hope all of you have a happy, healthy, and safe semester break, as well as a Holy Easter and Passover. I look forward to seeing all of you on April 3rd for this exciting announcement.


Charles Frank
Chair, Board of Trustees
Mount Saint Mary College

February 26, 2018

Members of the Mount Saint Mary College Community:

We would like to extend a very special thanks to the College community for providing a warm Mount Saint Mary welcome to our finalist candidates. Each of our three finalist candidates commented on the wonderful hospitality they encountered during their time on campus and were so pleased by the number of attendees at the various sessions. We recognize that many members of the campus community are anxious to find out about the selection of the next President and we hope that this update will provide you with an understanding of the critical next steps as we move towards an appointment.

The Presidential Search Committee met to deliberate on the three finalist candidates and prepared a report for the Board of Trustees that summarized information about the candidates in an unranked format and in the order of their visits to campus. The Search Committee met with the full Board of Trustees to discuss their report with the Board. The Board then went into executive session and made a decision about the candidate of choice.

An offer will be extended and once contract negotiations are finalized, we will announce the new President to the Mount Saint Mary community. Please note that we expect an announcement in mid to late March.

We also want to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Search Committee and Suzanne Muschio, the search coordinator, for their tireless work during the search process. We look forward to sharing news of our new President with you soon.

Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Sister Margaret Anderson, OP, Co-Chair/Presidential Search Committee
Anna Halpine, Co-Chair/Presidential Search Committee

January 31, 2018

On February 6 (candidate #1), February 8 (candidate #2), and February 12 (candidate #3), the College will welcome the three finalists for the Presidency of Mount Saint Mary College to our campus. They will each come for two full days, with a very full schedule meeting with a variety of groups.

Please join us at one of the following sessions as we meet the candidate and learn about each other. The candidate’s CV will be distributed the day before they arrive. You will also have the opportunity to provide confidential feedback via Survey Monkey.

Tuesday, February 6
Open Meeting for Staff/Administrators: 11 am-12 pm in Aquinas Hall 109 (Reception Room)
Open Meeting for Alumni: 3:30-4:30 pm in Aquinas Hall 109 (Reception Room)
Open Meeting for Faculty: 4:30-5:30 pm in Aquinas Hall 109 (Reception Room)

Wednesday, February 7
Open Meeting for Students: 9:45-10:45 am in MST Conference Room 163
Open Meeting for those not able to attend prior meetings: 10:45-11:45 am in MST Conference Room 163

Thursday, February 8
Open Meeting for Staff/Administrators: 11:15 am-12:15 pm in MST Conference Room 163
Open Meeting for Faculty: 4-5 pm in MST Conference Room 163

Friday, February 9
Open Meeting for Students: 9:45-10:45 am in Aquinas Hall Room 109 (Reception Room)
Open Meeting for those not able to attend prior meetings: 10:45-11:45 am in Aquinas Hall Room 109 (Reception Room)
Open Meeting for Alumni: 3-4 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 109 (Reception Room)

Monday, February 12
Open Meeting for Staff/Administrators: 11 am-12 pm in MST Conference Room 163
Open Meeting for Faculty: 4-5 pm in MST Conference Room 163

Tuesday, February 13
Open Meeting for Students: 9:45-10:45 am in MST Conference Room 163
Open Meeting for those not able to attend prior meetings: 10:45-11:45 am in MST Conference Room 163
Open Meeting for Alumni: 3-4 pm in MST Conference Room 163

In addition, there will be a Campus Community Open Forum followed by a reception which is open to all students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. Each candidate will present on the topic of "If you were to be the next President of Mount Saint Mary College, what would this campus look like 5 to 7 years from now?" This will be held as follows:

Tuesday, February 6
Presentation: 1:45-2:45 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 100A
Reception: 2:45-3:30 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 100A

Friday, February 9
Presentation: 1:15-2:15 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 100A
Reception: 2:15-3 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 100A

Tuesday, February 13
Presentation: 1:15-2:15 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 100A
Reception: 2:15-3 pm in Aquinas Hall Room 100A

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Suzanne Muschio, Presidential Search Liaison, at or 845-569-3211.

January 26, 2018

We are very pleased to inform the Mount Saint Mary College community that our Presidential search is well under way.  We are writing to provide you with an update on the progress of this search.

As you may be aware, we are entering the final phase of our recruitment effort for the next President which includes an invitation to the finalist candidates to visit campus. Each of our three finalist candidates will be on campus for 2 days and visits are scheduled for February 6 and 7 for the first candidate, February 8 and 9 for the second candidate, and February 12 and 13 for the third candidate. We are close to finalizing our schedules for campus visits and will share those schedules with you early next week.

We will provide the College community with the name and resume for each of our finalist candidates two working days before each candidate visits campus. We have scheduled opportunities for various College constituent groups to meet with each of the candidates and encourage all interested members of the campus community to participate where possible.

The purposes of these campus visits are two-fold.  First, they will enable us to know the candidates better.  Second, and perhaps more important, the visits will allow us to further acquaint the candidates with MSMC.

Throughout the search process, the Search Committee has pledged to protect the identity of the candidates. While we can no longer promise complete confidentiality to these finalists as they present themselves on campus, we urge you to bear in mind that each of them holds a significant position elsewhere, and we would appreciate your not making personal inquiries about them but rather to communicate your comments, questions, or concerns with the co-chairs of the Search Committee.

In addition to the Search Committee's preliminary interviews with these candidates, we have had conversations with individuals who have worked with them and know them well. The Search Committee believes that these candidates are capable of providing effective leadership for MSMC and are excited for you to have the opportunity to meet them.

Following their meeting with each of the candidates, those of you who participate in the conversations will be asked to complete an on-line response form that will allow us to capture your feedback on each of the candidates. This information will be tabulated and shared with both the Search Committee and the Board of Trustees as they deliberate on both the strengths and limitations of each candidate.  We anticipate that the selection of the next President will occur soon after the finalists’ visits.

If you have any questions or concerns about this final phase of the search, please contact our search consultant, Maya Ranchod Kirkhope at or at 703-380-9195.

We are pleased with the progress of the search and look forward to this final phase.  Thank you for your continuing support and assistance.

Sister Margaret Anderson, O.P., Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Anna Halpine, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee

December 5, 2017

To Members of the Mount Saint Mary College Community:
We are writing to provide a brief update on the status of our Presidential search. We are pleased to report that we have made good progress in relation to our search timeline. The phase of the search dedicated to recruitment of candidates and creation of an applicant pool has now concluded. The interest in our Presidency from potential candidates has been very strong.
The Search Committee is currently reading and evaluating all applications and will meet on December 15 to discuss and select from the applicant pool a group of 8 to 10 candidates whose background and experience ­appear to be especially consistent with the qualities and qualifications for the President as established for the search. We will invite those candidates to first-round interviews with the Search Committee to be held in January.  Upon completion of that round of interviews, the Committee will select finalist candidates to participate in more extensive on-campus interviews with a broad range of campus constituents.  We will schedule these visits for late January and/or February and will update you on the specifics as soon as they are scheduled.
The Committee will continue to stay in touch with you throughout the process, and we welcome your comments and questions at any time.  We are very pleased with the size and quality of the candidate pool.  If you have any questions, please direct those to us or contact our search consultants, Nancy Suttenfield at or (336) 251 9777, or Maya Kirkhope at or (703) 380 9195. We will treat any questions you have or information you provide as confidential.
We will provide another update on the Presidential search later this month. Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Sister Margaret Anderson, O.P., Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee 
Anna Halpine, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee


November 1, 2017

To Members of the Mount Saint Mary College Community:

We are pleased to inform you that our presidential search is under way.

Our search consultants, Nancy Suttenfield and Maya Kirkhope of Academic Search, Inc., have developed a job ad, a position profile describing the key needs and priorities of MSMC, and a related set of desired characteristics for our next president (see or The Search Committee spent time discussing and revising the position profile and has taken into consideration the range of opinions and recommendations from the College community with regard to the qualifications, experiences and skills sought in the next president. We are very grateful for your suggestions and we will seriously consider your input as we narrow down the candidate pool to select our semi-finalists and finalist candidates.

The job ad has been posted in a number of publications; to name just a few: The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Diverse Jobs, and First Things.

We invite you to suggest people you know who could serve effectively as our next president or who might recommend potential candidates. When nominating, please complete the confidential online nomination form on this website or forward the name(s) and contact information to our consultants. The success of our search will depend on the involvement, support and interest of all members of our College community. Our consultants have begun to work on generating a robust candidate pool. In addition to posting the job ad in key publications, they will reach out to a broad network of contacts and follow up on nominations submitted by you and other members of the higher education community.

The Search Committee will begin to review applications in early December and expects to identify a small group of candidates whose skills and expertise appear to be most closely related to our needs. The Committee expects to conduct neutral-site (semi-finalist) interviews in January, and plans to invite finalists to campus in late January and early February.  We expect the successful candidate to assume office during the summer of 2018.

You will receive another update on the presidential search in a few weeks. Thank you for your continued interest and support.

Sr. Margaret Anderson, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Anna Halpine, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee

September 20, 2017

Faculty, Staff and Students:

In this our first update to the Mount Saint Mary College community and its friends, we are pleased to inform you that our plans for the launch of our Presidential Search are well underway. Information on the search is now available on our website. You may go directly to the Presidential Search, or go to our website and click on the “About MSMC” tab and then Presidential Search. Presidential Search updates will be posted to this site as available.

The Presidential Search Consultants, Ms. Nancy Suttenfield and Ms. Maya Ranchod Kirkhope, will visit campus from September 25-27 to meet with the Presidential Search Committee as well as with members of the campus community. The following is a list of the upcoming campus consultation meetings to obtain your input and perspectives, and the times and locations where they will be held:

Open Forum Session – Students/Student Leaders
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Monday, September 25 – MST Room 163

Open Forum Session – Faculty
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, September 26 – MST Room 163

Open Forum Session – Administration/Staff
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, September 26 – MST Room 163

Open Forum Session (for those not able to attend previous sessions)
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 26 – MST Room 163

To assure productive and meaningful input, the search consultants have asked that you consider the questions listed below in preparation for these discussions:

  • What do you believe is the mission of the Mount, and what are the core values and academic commitments that derive from it?
  • The President embodies the mission, vision and aspirations of the College now and into the future. What do you think these elements are?
  • How do you see the College changing over the next 7 – 10 years?
  • What are the Mount’s greatest strengths?
  • What are the most immediate challenges that the next President will confront?
  • What do you believe are the most fundamental characteristics, competencies and experiences that should be embodied in the next President?
  • What would ensure the success of the next President?

Based on these conversations, the consultants will prepare a position profile describing the key institutional needs and priorities, and a related set of desired characteristics and talents for our next President. The Presidential Search Committee will review and edit this document, and we will then make it available to the campus community.

We know that each of you will provide helpful and informative insights about the opportunities for our next President. We thank you in advance for your participation. If you are unable to attend the campus meetings, we encourage you to send an email to Ms. Suttenfield at or (336-251-9777) or Ms. Kirkhope at or (703-380-9195). In addition, please be aware that Ms. Suzanne Muschio, Executive Assistant, Office of Finance and Administration, has been appointed search liaison and will provide administrative support for the upcoming pre-search visit and for the duration of the search.

COMING SOON: You will be able to visit the Presidential Search site to share your thoughts on the questions above and to nominate individuals you would like the Committee to consider.

If you have any questions or comments at this early stage or at any time during the process, please reach out to either of us or the search consultants.

Thank you for your interest and support.

Sr. Margaret Anderson, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Anna Halpine, Co-Chair, Presidential Search Committee

September 8, 2017

Dear Members of the Mount Saint Mary College Community,

Since my last communication with you, we have fully organized the process of launching our Presidential Search. I am pleased to announce that a Presidential Search Committee has been formed. I want to thank everyone who provided suggestions to assist the Board of Trustees in creating an inclusive committee that will bring essential campus and Board perspectives together for the execution of our search. The Committee will shepherd all aspects of the search process with the assistance of our search consultants from Academic Search and, through its work, will help the Board of Trustees identify our next President of the College.

I have asked our Board Vice-Chair Sr. Margaret Anderson and Trustee Anna Halpine to serve as Co-Chairs of the Presidential Search Committee, and they have graciously agreed to do so. Both individuals are highly knowledgeable about our institution’s history, vision, and values and bring the ability to listen carefully and respectfully to all perspectives, from the beginning to the end of the search process. A Mount alumnus will serve on the Committee and we will continue to reach out to alumni for additional guidance and ideas. 

The following are the members of the Committee who have volunteered their time to assure that the search process meets the specific needs of the Mount and is effective in reaching and attracting the very best candidates.


  • Sr. Margaret Anderson, O.P., Co-Chair -  Vice Chair, Board of Trustees/Dominican Sister Representative
  • Anna Halpine, Co-Chair - Trustee/Member of Executive Committee
  • Charles Frank - Chair, Board of Trustees
  • Jeanne Hosinski - Trustee/Member of Executive Committee
  • Robert Armistead - Trustee/Member of Executive Committee
  • Michael Horodyski - Trustee
  • Carl Meyer - President, Solar Energy Consortium; Retired CEO of Central Hudson
  • Art Glass - Vice President for Finance & Administration
  • David Gallagher - Associate Professor of Education
  • Lynn Maelia - Professor of Chemistry
  • Michael Daven - Professor of Mathematics
  • David Lambert  - MSMC Alumni Class of 2002; Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
  • Robin Rosenberg  - Career Counselor
  • Jake Kosack  - Student Representative, Senior Class President 2018
  • Robbie Bertola  - Administrative Assistant, Division of Math & Information Technology

I extend the Board’s heartiest appreciation to all Committee members who have agreed to serve

I am also pleased to inform you that our search consultants, Ms. Nancy Suttenfield and Ms. Maya Ranchod Kirkhope, will be on campus for two full days later this month to seek input from each of our campus constituency groups that is essential to inform the planning for our national search. They will rely on this input to assist in developing the key criteria required for the next President. They plan to meet with representatives of each stakeholder group, and there will also be open forums for the members of each group, along with a final open forum for anyone who is unable to attend their particular group meeting.

As we look ahead, this is an important time in the life of the Mount, and accordingly, we intend to provide members of the campus community with information about the search process and regular updates using this Presidential Search website.

The dates of the consultants’ visit and the meeting times to seek campus input will be posted on the Presidential Search website as soon as a schedule is finalized. In our commitment to have an inclusive and transparent search process, the Co-Chairs will begin posting regular updates to the Presidential Search website. They are the primary spokeswomen for the search until the Board has received a final Committee report, after which I will resume the primary communication role until our next President has signed a contract.

On behalf of the Board and our Search Committee, thank you for your contributions to a successful search. We welcome and appreciate your thoughtful comments and suggestions as we go forward.

Sincerely, Charles Frank  
Chair, Board of Trustees

July 28, 2017

In early May, we released a request for proposals to a number of academic and executive search firms. After considering all of the proposals, it was decided by the Board of Trustees to retain Academic Search, Inc., a firm we have used successfully in the past. This selection was based on several important factors:

  • Their willingness to ensure that the senior members of their team would be dedicated to our search.
  • Their long track record of success with many other institutions of our size and larger.
  • Their prior experience with Mount Saint Mary College and their deep understanding of our culture and mission.
  • The fact that the firm focuses on higher education, and has a thorough understanding of the environment, along with many good connections to possible candidates.
  • Their clear and reasonable financial terms.

Charles Frank, chair of the Mount's Board of Trustees, spent the last several weeks finalizing the contractual elements of the agreement and a contract with Academic Search was signed last week. We are currently scheduling a meeting between Nancy Suttenfield, Senior Consultant of Academic Search, and the Board of Trustees. The purpose of this meeting will be to ensure that the Board understands its role in the overall search process, and to ensure there is an understanding of the significance and commitment which will be required of the entire board during this process.

We will also at this meeting discuss the establishment of the search committee. As has been stated in the past, this search process will be as open and transparent as possible throughout its entirety. Members of every constituency of the campus will be included. We have already received a number of suggestions and communications regarding the makeup of the search committee, and these will be strongly considered. In two meetings Charles Frank held with David Gallagher and Monica Merritt, he assured them that faculty will select their representatives to the search committee, and is committed to this assurance.

Moving forward, the following is the timeline we are planning to follow:

August: Organization of the search process, including establishment of the search committee

Early to Mid-September: Analysis of institutional need and creation of candidate profile, including solicitation of thoughts and ideas from the entire campus community through group meetings and interviews

Late September to late October: Recruitment of strong candidate pool

Early November: Evaluation of candidate pool

November: Interviews of semi-finalist candidates

December: Interviews of finalist candidates and campus visits

January: Final decision and announcement of permanent President

We realize this is a fairly aggressive schedule, but it is one which both the Board and Academic Search are confident in their ability to drive and execute on. Throughout the entire process, this page will be maintained on the MSMC website in order to keep the entire Mount Saint Mary College community informed of our progress. Transparency will be one of the key elements of this search.

The Mount's Board of Trustees knows that a presidential search is one of the most important tasks any board can undertake. We also realize that we cannot undertake this task without the input and help of the entire Mount community. At the outset of this search, we thank each and every one of you for your commitment to both this search, and to the continued success of this great institution.