Rivier College Presidential Search

May 19, 2011
Rivier College

Presidential Search Update

Rivier announces appointment of Sr. Paula Marie Buley, IHM as the 12th President of Rivier College

Dear Friends of Rivier College:

On behalf of the Rivier College Corporation and the Board of Trustees, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM has been named the new President of Rivier College. Unanimously elected following a national search, Sister Paula Marie is an inspirational leader with enormous energy, vision, talent, experience, and faith. In addition to superb communication, management, motivational, and organization skills, Sr. Paula Marie is noted for her particular abilities to move people and programs to new levels of excellence. During a recent visit to our campus, she consistently inspired and energized people, leaving colleagues motivated to reach even higher and further in their efforts for Rivier.

A member of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata, PA, Sister Paula Marie brings to Rivier more than twenty-five years of experience in higher education administration. Formerly Executive Vice President of Administration at Seton Hall University, Sister Paula has served in senior roles at Anna Maria College, Mount St. Mary University and Immaculata University. She holds advanced degrees: an Ed.D in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A.L.S. in Catholic Studies from Georgetown University, and an MBA from Villanova University.

Sister Paula’s professional service has included extensive accreditation experiences, and the implementation of comprehensive master plans and programs which support teaching and learning excellence. As an educator and leader, she has a deep appreciation of the history, vision, and mission of Rivier College to “transform hearts and minds to serve the world.” This mission resonates deeply with the mission of Catholic higher education, the value of the liberal arts, and the community of service engendered by programs of professional study. Sister Paula’s research interests include issues of organizational governance and leadership in higher education.

Sr. Paula Marie will begin her presidency in service to the Rivier community on August 1, 2011. When notified of her election, she shared that, “I am deeply honored by the opportunity to join the Rivier College community. I look forward to collaborating with trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and friends of the College in the development and implementation of an aspirational strategic plan.” Our College enjoys such a convivial spirit of fellowship and support that I know you will each join me in welcoming Sr. Paula Marie to her new leadership role at Rivier.

The process that identified Sr. Paula Marie began in October 2010, and was conducted by a search committee of eleven people. For many months, your search committee invested significant time and talent on behalf of Rivier, and with profound gratitude, I wish to thank each of them for the tremendous service they have given the College. Presidential Search Committee members were:

  1. Dr. Jamison G. Hoff, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Search Committee Chair
  2. Sister Suzanne Bourret ‘72, Chair, Rivier College Corporation; and Provincial Superior, Manchester Province, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
  3. Mr. Leon P. Brassard ‘97 (Hon.), Trustee of the College and Treasurer of the Board
  4. Mr. John J. Dagianis, MD, Trustee of the College, Chair, Academic Affairs Committee
  5. Professor Timothy J. Doherty, Rivier Faculty, Department of English, elected by Faculty
  6. Sister Marie Henault ‘71, Vice Chair, Rivier College Corporation; Assistant Provincial Superior, Manchester Province, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
  7. The Honorable Joseph N. Laplante, US District Court Judge and Trustee of the College
  8. Sister Therese Larochelle ’71, ‘75, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, elected by Sisters
  9. Mr. Richard K. Perrine, Director of Facilities Management, elected by Staff
  10. Ms. Linda Lemery Robinson ‘69, ’79, ’94 (Hon.) Rivier Alumna and Trustee of the College
  11. Mr. Samuel A. Tamposi, Jr. ,Trustee of the College and Chair, Tamposi Scholarship Committee

In addition, I want to thank each Sister, student, staff member, faculty, trustee, and friend who participated personally in this important choice of new leadership for Rivier. Many of you contributed your ideas and priorities in the campus-wide conversation last fall which created the Leadership Profile used by the search committee in its consideration of candidates. Many of you participated in the small-group sessions during campus visits of finalist candidates and took the time and interest to share your advice afterward. I am convinced that our comprehensive work together as one community resulted in the excellent, exciting outcome, and that Sr. Paula Marie Buley will be an outstanding President of Rivier College.


Jamison G. Hoff
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Presidential Search Update: May 1, 2011

Three finalist candidates successfully completed in late April their separate visits to the Rivier campus. Many individuals across campus participated in hosting the candidates, leading or attending meetings, conducting tours, guiding guests from session to session, and providing transportation. Rivier demonstrated the special spirit and warmth that distinguishes our life together, and our candidates were able to see firsthand the strength of our community. Specific sessions were provided for groups of students, Sisters, faculty, staff, friends, and trustees to meet each candidate, to interact, ask questions, and share their vision for the future; after which, those who chose to respond had opportunities to share comments with their search committee representatives. While our campus community is sharing with one another, our search consultants are conducting in-depth interviews with candidate references and colleagues. In early May, the search committee will convene to hear and consider responses to campus visits and references, and will discuss next steps in matching final candidates to the search profile we all developed together last fall.

Presidential Search Update: April 20, 2011
Message from the Search Committee Chair

Dear Rivier College:

Efforts to identify the next President for Rivier College continue to progress successfully. We remain on track, on task, and on calendar. The Presidential Search Committee recently completed their interviews of selected semi-finalist candidates, after which the committee advanced three individuals to finalist status and invited them to our campus for public visits. These three candidates will separately visit Rivier for a day and a half each during the week of April 25-29.

While here as our guests, finalists will tour the campus and will meet with groups of Sisters, students, faculty, staff, administration, and trustees. I have great confidence that our community will offer a warm “Raider” welcome and sincere effort to help our candidates get to know Rivier as thoroughly as possible.

When the campus visits for our finalists are complete, the search committee will reconvene to discuss next steps for identifying future leadership that best matches the challenging profile built by our community conversation last fall.

It has been a great privilege to present Rivier during the search process thus far. I continue to be inspired by the College, and by the remarkably dedicated search committee that has worked so tirelessly during the careful search process of the previous months.

Thank you,
Jamison G. Hoff
Presidential Search Committee Chair  

Presidential Search Update: March 15, 2011  

Dr. Jamison Hoff, Chair of the Board of Trustees, says the College’s  search for a new president is on track and following the original timetable. At this time, the search committee has narrowed the large original pool of candidates to identify individuals about whom it wishes to know more.   

“At present, our search firm is conducting on our behalf the in-depth interviews with these candidates which will form the basis of their subsequent report, scheduled for late March.  After these interviews and reporting are concluded, the committee will identify those candidates it wishes to interview in person,” says Dr. Hoff.  When search committee interviews are complete, a small group of semi-finalist candidates will be invited for public visits on campus. “I continue to be especially grateful for the many hours of study, preparation, and discussion which our search committee members are investing in this important process,” Dr. Hoff says. 


Presidential search Dr. Jamison HoffMessage from the Search Committee Chair
Welcome. Thank you for your interest in Rivier College and its presidential search. Whether your interest is that of a student, faculty, staff, alumni, friend, parent, trustee, neighbor, or candidate, you are welcome to join us in this journey. At this site you may follow the progress of the Rivier College Presidential Search Committee as it conducts the national search for our next President. You may also review here the search-related description of the College, the Presidency, the profile of the leader we seek, and the roster of committee members.

The College is spiritually strong, academically vigorous, financially healthy, and well-positioned for its mission to transform hearts and minds to serve the world. The first step of our search process was a campus wide conversation in October and November of 2010 when members of the Rivier community contributed ideas and priorities about our future together. The conversation produced a detailed, prioritized description of opportunities and challenges in the decade ahead, and shaped the profile of the president we seek.

The active search is underway and will continue until the new President is elected. The Board of Trustees engaged the services of Isaacson, Miller to support the search, and nominations may be directed to them at cplant@imsearch.com 

On behalf of the College, I want to thank the members of the search committee, each of whom will contribute months of time, effort, talent, and wisdom to a task so pivotal in Rivier’s future.


Jamison G. Hoff, Ph.D.
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Presidential Search Committee 

In December, Dr. Hoff, in consultation with Sr. Suzanne Bourret, Chair of the Rivier College Corporation, appointed the Presidential Search Committee. The Committee includes:

  • Dr. Jamison G. Hoff, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Search Committee Chair
  • Sr. Suzanne Bourret ’72, Chair of the Rivier College Corporation and Provincial Superior, Manchester Province, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
  • Mr. Leon P. Brassard ’97 (Hon.), Trustee and Treasurer of the Board
  • Dr. John J. Dagianis, Trustee, Chair, Academic Affairs Committee
  • Dr. Timothy J. Doherty, Professor of English, elected by faculty
  • Sr. Marie Henault ’71, Vice Chair, Rivier College Corporation; Assistant Provincial Superior, Manchester Province, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary
  • The Honorable Joseph N. Laplante, U.S. District Court Judge and Trustee
  • Sr. Therese Larochelle ’71/’75G, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, elected by Sisters
  • Mr. Richard K. Perrine, Director of Facilities Management, elected by staff
  • Mrs. Linda Lemery Robinson ’69/’79G/’94 (Hon.) Trustee, alumna
  • Mr. Samuel A. Tamposi, Jr., Trustee and Chair, Tamposi Scholarship Committee 

The College selected Isaacson, Miller as the search firm. In the next stage of the search, members of the Search Committee and representatives from Isaacson, Miller collaborated to create a search piece, a detailed description of the opportunity to lead Rivier College. Subsequently, interviews will take place to narrow down the pool of candidates, who will be kept confidential, until several public finalists are invited to visit campus and meet with the Rivier community. The Board will elect a final candidate and present the candidate to the Corporation.

Dr. Hoff says the remainder of the search process should take about five months, leading to a final candidate in April or May.

 In October 2010, Rivier College President William Farrell announced plans to retire at the end of the 2010-2011 academic year. The College immediately began the search for a new president. Chair of the Board of Trustees Dr. Jamison Hoff appointed a Leadership Profile Committee to lead a campus-wide conversation about the issues facing the College in the near future; the Committee developed a profile for Rivier's next president to help shape the search.



Founded in 1933 by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier University is a Catholic institution recognized for distinctive academic programs, offering many of the region’s leading programs at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels. With Nashua as our home and the world as our classroom, the Rivier experience ensures that students develop leadership skills as well as an awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures in New England and around the world.