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Meet Endicott’s Seventh President

"Every institution has a beautiful footprint, but what makes it unique is the culture and the people. To really understand it, you have to understand the folks that are part of the fabric of the place and I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this community."
Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo
Seventh President of Endicott College

Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, seventh president of Endicott College, is a higher education leader with a track record of transformative success at multiple U.S. colleges and universities. He will become Endicott’s seventh president on July 1, 2019.

On the national stage, DiSalvo has surfaced as a leading voice in the ongoing conversation about college affordability and student debt, with op-eds and interviews in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Boston Globe, among others. He also led the Committee on Student Aid as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). DiSalvo is also a board member of the New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business association.

Most recently, DiSalvo served as the tenth president of Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., announcing he would step down effective June 30, 2019. At Saint Anselm, his tenure was marked by enrollment and endowment growth, a successful capital campaign, increased retention and graduation rates, and significant capital improvement projects. Previously, DiSalvo was president at Wisconsin’s Marian University, where he bolstered the university’s endowment, upgraded its facilities, and launched new undergraduate and graduate programs.

DiSalvo also comes to Endicott with a wealth of experience beyond the sphere of higher education, having served as president and CEO of the Hopewell Group, a leading philanthropic advising firm, and as executive director of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, which is committed to helping children heal from the effects of domestic violence and abuse. He has also formerly worked as executive vice president at Junior Achievement of New York, which is dedicated to preparing and inspiring young people to succeed in a global economy.

DiSalvo holds three degrees from Fordham University: a Ph.D. in educational leadership and administration, an MBA from the university’s Gabelli School of Business, and a B.S. in psychology. He previously worked in advancement at Fordham as well as at Loyola University Chicago and Fairfield University. Informed by his education and experience at multiple institutions, DiSalvo maintains a deep belief in providing college access to all students and insuring that the college community is diverse, inclusive, and reflective of the world in which we live. His philosophy is centered on one common question: are we doing our best to serve our students?

DiSalvo credits his parents, Arline and Sal DiSalvo, for providing him the opportunity to receive a high-quality education by making many sacrifices, including working multiple jobs to help put him through a private, independent college. He and his wife Eileen are the proud parents of three adult sons, Tom, Andrew, and Connor.

In Video

A Passion for Educating the Whole Student
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Cynthia Merkle '77, and members of the President Search Committee discuss their impressions of Dr. DiSalvo, and how his credentials align with the Leadership Profile used to identify Endicott College’s seventh president. Use the icon in the top left to navigate through this playlist of videos.
In Pictures
A Wealth of Experience
DiSalvo is a leader with a track record of transformative success both within and beyond the sphere of higher education.
In Pictures
Moving the Needle
From rankings to retention, significant capital improvement to new initiatives, DiSalvo consistently demonstrates next-level leadership.
In Pictures
Mighty Measurements
DiSalvo’s tenure at Saint Anselm led to overarching growth, including increases in endowment, enrollment, and alumni giving.
In Pictures
A Leading Voice
Lending his expertise to several boards, DiSalvo is a thought-leader on college affordability and student debt.

Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo by the Numbers

No matter the data point, DiSalvo consistently moves the needle in the right direction.

90% Endowment Increase
Under Dr. DiSalvo since 2013, Saint Anselm's experienced significant endowment growth
2,000+ Students Enrolled
With their Class of 2022 enrollment, Saint Anselm established a new record for enrolled students
91% Retention Rate
Retention for first-year students at Saint Anselm

DiSalvo Fits the Profile

The President Search Committee developed and referred to this Leadership Profile when considering candidates, to be sure the College’s next president would embody the bold entrepreneurial spirit for which Endicott is known. Mission accomplished.

Committee Communications

Expand the dates below to read each full update sent to the Endicott community.
  • March 27, 2019—Announcement from Cynthia Merkle '77, Chair of the Board of Trustees

    Dear Endicott College Community,

    For several months, the President Search Committee has been focused on identifying a new leader to serve as Endicott College’s Seventh President—someone who demonstrates the ability to embrace the College’s exciting history of growth, continued commitment to evolution and innovation, and an unwavering focus on its students’ success.

    After a diligent and thorough process, the President Search Committee and the Board of Trustees selected Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. to lead the College beginning July 1, 2019.

    Dr. DiSalvo is a higher education leader with a track record of transformative success at multiple U.S. colleges and universities. An esteemed voice in the national conversation about college affordability, he led the Committee on Student Aid as a board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). His most recent tenure as president of Saint Anselm College was marked by enrollment and endowment growth, a successful capital campaign, increased retention and graduation rates, and significant capital improvement projects. He comes to Endicott with a wealth of executive experience, and maintains a deep belief in providing college access to all students and insuring that the college community is diverse, inclusive, and reflective of the world in which we live.

    With such experience, we are confident that Dr. DiSalvo embodies the bold entrepreneurial spirit of Endicott College.

    Among Dr. DiSalvo’s top priorities will be working with the campus community to develop the future strategic direction for the College, build on its resources, strengthen Endicott's mission and to distinguish the College’s innovative model of experiential learning through internships in New England, the nation, and the world.

    Please join me in welcoming Dr. DiSalvo to our vibrant community. A meet-and-greet with Dr. DiSalvo is currently being planned with details to follow soon. In the meantime, I invite you to learn more about him at endicott.edu/newpresident.

    I would also like to acknowledge Trustee and Chair of the President Search Committee Ernest “Sandy” Santin and all Committee members, Interim President Katie Barnes, members of the College’s administration, and executive search firm Witt/Kieffer for the dedication and support needed to appoint the College’s next leader.

    Sincerely,
    Cynthia Merkle
    Chair, Board of Trustees

  • March 5, 2019
    I am writing to you today to provide an update regarding the search for Endicott’s next president. After reviewing over 100 applicants, we chose to interview 12 candidates. Through the fall and into the winter we narrowed the field to a semi-finalist group. Through a series of interactive interviews, we ultimately selected two finalists to meet with an expanded group from the Endicott community. This group’s input was invaluable to the search committee and was instrumental during our deliberations. We are now in the final stages of this incredible search process, and, if all goes well, we will be able to announce our next president later this month or in early April. I would personally like to thank the entire Endicott community for their enthusiastic support throughout the search. Stay tuned!
    Warm regards,
    Sandy Santin
    Chair of the President Search Committee
  • January 8, 2019

    The search committee and I have been amazed by the outpouring of interest in the presidency of Endicott College, which has led to more than 100 applications to date. I want to thank the many members of the community who have shared with us suggestions and nominations that have contributed to this impressive pool.

    Over the course of the last several weeks, the search committee has focused its attention on one-quarter of this group. Ultimately, we narrowed the pool to a dozen of the most compelling, highly qualified candidates whom we interviewed before the winter break. The conversations were engaging, informative and inspiring.

    The search committee will continue to narrow the field of candidates in the weeks ahead. While there is still much to be done, we are very excited and encouraged by how the process continues to evolve. We remain committed to identifying an extraordinary leader to serve as Endicott's next president.

    For more information about the President search, please visit: https://www.endicott.edu/presidentsearch.

    Thank you,

    Sandy Santin
    Chair, President Search Committee

  • December 3, 2018

    The members of the search committee met most recently on November 29th and began the process of reviewing candidates interested in becoming the next president of Endicott College. Witt/Kieffer has worked to develop a pool of candidates who represent a variety of backgrounds. The next step of this process is to focus in on a highly qualified, smaller group of candidates to further evaluate in an interview setting, which will take place throughout the winter months.

    As a reminder, each committee member has signed a confidentiality agreement about this process. We appreciate your understanding that we cannot divulge details about the search and ask you to please refrain from asking us to do so. I look forward to continuing to update you on this process.

    Thank you,

    Sandy Santin
    Chair, President Search Committee

  • November 15, 2018

    Since the release of the Endicott College President Profile, Witt/Kieffer has been hard at work recruiting and vetting a pool of well-qualified candidates for our president search.  As we enter the next phase of the search, I want to especially thank all of the members of our community who nominated someone for this important role, completed a survey, and/or participated in a listening session. Your input continues to be extremely valuable as the search committee prepares to evaluate the pool in the coming weeks. Once the committee narrows down the field, first-round interviews will take place in mid-December, so I will have another update to share sometime after that.

    As we enter into the holiday season, I am thankful to have a community that remains engaged in this process. The search committee is committed to finding the right fit for the College, and I am grateful for their partnership as we continue this search. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. 

    Thank you,

    Sandy Santin
    Chair, President Search Committee

  • September 28, 2018

    Thank you to everyone who participated in listening sessions, sent an email, talked to committee members, and completed the survey over the last few weeks.  Your input has been invaluable to the committee as we consider the attributes, criteria, and qualifications of our next president. 

    At this time, I am pleased to announce the launch of the attached Leadership Profile and advertisement, which Witt/Kieffer will use to attract candidates from around the country and beyond.  To help support this effort, we have launched the President Search Website, which provides important information as people consider this unique opportunity. 

    These tools will be reviewed by potential candidates, nominees, and nominators as a means to get to know our community a little bit better.  Please share these resources with your individual networks to help us reach the broadest audience possible because you are our greatest resource in building a deep pool of candidates who will fit within this community. 

    We may have moved into this public phase, but we will never be done listening, so continue to reach out to me and the committee at presidentsearch@endicott.edu or email Witt/Kieffer directly with nominations at EndicottPresident@wittkieffer.com.

    Thank you for your continued participation.

    Sincerely,

    Sandy Santin
    Chair, President Search Committee

  • September 4, 2018

    First of all, I want to thank everyone for warmly welcoming me and the Witt/Kieffer representatives at the Employee Orientation last week. What a wonderful way to kick off this process! While they were on campus, the search committee met for the first time, and we were able to facilitate a few listening sessions. These sessions will provide very valuable input about the characteristics, qualifications and credentials we should be looking for in our next president. 

    To ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate, we have several additional opportunities for you to do so:

    • I mentioned in my last communication there is a brief survey available that every member of our community should complete to provide the search committee with as much input as possible; this survey has been shared with alumni, parents, and will be shared with students this week
    • We will hold additional listening sessions for faculty and staff throughout the day on Tuesday, September 18 so that all members of the community can interact with the search firm and search committee members; see below for times and sign up for a session
    • Our community members are our greatest network, so if you know of any individuals who would be a great candidate for this role, please send your recommendation to Witt/Kieffer at: EndicottPresident@wittkieffer.com
    • Updates from the search committee will be posted at President Search, so feel free to visit this website for information
    • If you have feedback or questions for me or members of the search committee, you can contact us at PresidentSearch@endicott.edu

    The search committee members appreciate the enormous responsibility we have to find the right candidate for Endicott College, and we are committed to doing so. In the spirit of transparency, we have posted on the website the Board of Trustees’ charge to the search committee (PDF), as well as the code of ethics and confidentiality agreement (PDF) that every search committee member has signed. This level of confidentiality is crucial to ensuring that we recruit candidates who feel confident that our process will not negatively impact their current employment situation, so thank you all for your understanding. I will continue to communicate with the community as we progress, so stay tuned for additional updates.

    Sandy Santin
    Chair, President Search Committee

    Faculty and Staff Listening Sessions
    Tuesday, September 18
    Gerrish School of Business / Judge Science Center

    Times
    9:10 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
    10:10 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.
    11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    3:10 p.m. - 4:10 p.m. 

  • August 23, 2018

    I am honored to have been appointed by the Endicott College Board of Trustees as the chair of the President Search Committee.  Moving forward, updates and communications regarding the search for the next president will come from the search committee.

    I am happy to announce that a search committee has officially been formed with representation from stakeholder groups throughout the Endicott community.  The search committee members are listed below and each is looking forward to assisting the Board of Trustees in selecting the College's next leader.

    President Search Committee

    Sandy Santin, Trustee & Search Committee Chair

    Alisa de Gaspe Beaubien ‘94
    Trustee
    President, Endicott Alumni Council

    Robert Fanning
    Trustee

    Marsha McDonough
    Trustee

    Douglas Seymour
    Trustee

    Anthony Ferullo
    Vice President, Finance and Administration

    Sara Quay
    Dean of Education

    John Kelley
    Professor, Psychology

    Chrystal Porter
    Associate Vice President, Van Loan School

    Amy Damico
    Professor, Communication

    Colin Mason
    Student

    Members of the President Search Committee and the search firm Witt/Kieffer will be on campus on Thursday, August 30 and Friday, August 31 and will be providing a brief overview of the search process at Employee Orientation along with hosting initial listening sessions with select departments. There will also be an opportunity to meet members of the Search Committee and Witt/Kieffer informally at the Beechwood reception on Thursday afternoon.

    All members of the Endicott campus community will have an opportunity to attend listening sessions in September in an effort to help identify the attributes of candidates who should make up the pool of applicants from whom the Board may select the College's next president.

    To further inform this process, campus community members are also invited to complete a brief survey to include their thoughts on the College's strengths and features, future challenges, and the ideal characteristics, qualifications, and credentials of the next president.

    Those wishing to confidentially nominate a president candidate are encouraged to contact the search firm directly by emailing: EndicottPresident@wittkieffer.com.

    The search committee will formally meet for the first time on Friday, August 31 to begin developing a leadership profile and identifying the process for reviewing candidates.  Jillian Dubman, Chief of Staff, will support the work of the search committee.  I will continue to communicate with the campus community as additional information becomes available during this important process.

    If you have any questions that I or the search committee can answer throughout the process, please contact us using the email address: PresidentSearch@endicott.edu

    Sincerely,

    Sandy Santin
    Chair, President Search Committee


  • August 7, 2018

    At its Friday, July 27, formal meeting, the Endicott College Board of Trustees unanimously selected trustee Ernest “Sandy” Santin as Chair of the President Search Committee. Sandy has served as a trustee since 1992. On behalf of the entire board, I would like to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to Sandy for taking on this enormously important responsibility. We are in the process of assembling the President Search Committee, which will include several other trustees and representatives of the faculty, staff, administration, and student body. I will update the campus community once the President Search Committee is fully formed.

    In addition, upon the recommendation of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, Interim President Katie Barnes, and members of College administration, the Board has voted to retain executive search firm Witt/Kieffer to support Endicott’s search for its next president. Through a competitive bidding process, the Executive Committee solicited comprehensive proposals from five national search firms and assessed their responses based on several criteria, including success in attracting diverse candidate pools. Two firms were selected for interviews. The Committee recommended Witt/Kieffer based on its deep experience and successful track record conducting president searches, the firm’s collaborative approach to working with institutions, and our confidence in the team’s ability to articulate what a remarkable opportunity it would be to serve as Endicott’s next president.

    Lucy Leske, Senior Partner at Witt/Kieffer, will lead the Endicott search. A veteran of president search processes, Lucy has written extensively on leadership transition and assessment, professional development for women and underrepresented leaders, and staff recruitment and retention. She played a key role in developing Witt/Kieffer’s international higher education practice.

    During the All Employee Orientation on Thursday, August 30, the Witt/Kieffer team will address the community regarding the search process.  In the weeks following, the President Search Committee members, joined by the Witt/Kieffer team, will host a series of listening sessions to ensure that the search process — and ultimately, our next President — reflects the culture, values and aspirations of Endicott College.

    The Committee will seek and rely on feedback from across the campus community. There will be opportunities for faculty and students, staff and administrators, and alumni and friends to provide input to the Committee. This President Search web page has been launched to keep the community informed. Please also feel free to contact me directly at merklec@endicott.edu with any questions, suggestions or concerns. I encourage you to use these various opportunities to share your thoughts about the College, your hopes for its future, and the characteristics that will be required of our next leader.

    Cindy Merkle '77, Chair
    Endicott College Board of Trustees