Presidential Search

December 18, 2020
Dear Members of the Westfield State University Community:

On behalf of the University’s Presidential Search Committee I am pleased to share that we have reached an important milepost in the search process: finalization of our Presidential Leadership Profile.  You can access the profile and other information about the search on the search web site at https://www.westfield.ma.edu/presidential-search.  In addition, an advertisement for the position is now appearing online in 12 diverse higher education publications and will be posted for the next 30-60 days, depending upon the publication.

The Presidential Leadership Profile is the principal document that potential candidates will go to in order to learn about the University and, most especially, about the challenges and opportunities that Westfield State faces in the near future and the personal and professional qualities and qualifications we seek in the next president.

The work of developing the profile began early in the fall semester when the search committee and our search firm WittKieffer hosted campus-wide listening sessions and administered a survey, all to gather input from the University community and to prepare materials for the profile.  The Search Committee is grateful to all in the community who participated in the listening sessions and/or responded to the survey.  I believe you will find that the Leadership Profile reflects the feedback we received.

In addition to the above-mentioned advertisements, active recruitment of potential candidates is underway and will continue until mid-February.  The Search Committee wants to encourage everyone in the Westfield State University community to forward nominations of outstanding candidates to WSU-President@wittkieffer.com.  Any other thoughts or comments about the search can also be sent to that email address.  For full consideration, applications from candidates should be received by February 12, 2021.

The search for our next president is not just about recruiting and selecting the best candidate.  A successful search will present us with opportunities to come together as a community, to affirm our values and priorities, to think about the kind of university we are and would like to be.  Those conversations have started, and they will position us well to be attractive to potential candidates.  Your input shaped the Leadership Profile and will be extremely valuable as the search committee evaluates the candidate pool this winter and then brings finalist candidates to campus this spring.  We will continue to post additional information to the search web site.

One of the things I have taken away from the search thus far is the commitment and loyalty of faculty and staff to the University and especially to the welfare and success of its students.  We’ll keep that top-of-mind as we go forward with our search for Westfield’s next president.  Thank you for working with us.  Best wishes for a happy, healthy, safe, enjoyable holiday season and semester break.

For the search committee,


Robert A. Martin, Ph.D.
Trustee and Chair of the Search Committee

Presidential Search Committee Members

  • Melissa Alvarado, Alumni Trustee (Class of 1999), Assistant Vice President in Enterprise Risk Management at MassMutual Financial Group (Alumni Association representative), Vice Chair of the Committee
  • Claudia Ciano-Boyce, Ed.D., Professor of Psychology and President, Westfield Chapter of MSCA (Faculty/Westfield MSCA representative)
  • Junior Delgado, Director of Career Center and Employer Relations (Administrator/Westfield APA representative)
  • George Flevotomos, Principal at Demayo Properties and 2nd Vice Chair of WSU Foundation (WSU Foundation representative)
  • Brian Jennings, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mathematics (Faculty/Westfield MSCA representative)
  • Ron'na J'Q Lytle, Administrative Assistant to Departments of Ethnic and Gender Studies, Language and Culture Studies, and Sociology, and AFSCME Unit 1 Steward (Westfield AFSCME representative)
  • Robert Martin, Ph.D., Trustee, Retired former Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim President at Framingham State University, Chair of the Committee
  • Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, Trustee, Assistant Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools
  • Juline Mills, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services (Academic Administration representative)
  • Thalita Neves, Student Trustee (Class of 2021) (Student Government Association representative)
  • Ali Salehi, Trustee, President of Columbia Manufacturing (Greater Westfield Community representative)
  • Thomas Simard, Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Finance at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (Mass BHE/DHE representative)
  • Stephen Taksar, Vice President for Administration and Finance (Cabinet representative)
  • Gloria Williams, Ed.D., Trustee, Educational Consultant, Adjunct Professor, and former principal, Springfield Public Schools
  • Jalisa Williams, LP.D., Associate Vice President, Office of Human Resources, Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity/Affirmative Action Officer, ex officio, non-voting resource to the committee
  • Jean Beal, secretary to the committee

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