Carroll College Announces Presidential Search Finalists

Friday, February 23, 2018

February 13, 2018

HELENA – Carroll College has announced its two finalists for President of Carroll College, Dr. John Cech of Helena, Montana, and Dr. Thomas Powell of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The two candidates will visit campus the week of February 19.

“We were very pleased with the caliber of applicants we received for this position and are excited to introduce these two highly-qualified individuals to the campus community next week,” said Tom Walsh ’81, chair of the search committee and Carroll Board of Trustees member.

Dr. John Cech is Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education for the Montana University System. He serves as the Chief Academic, Research, and Student Affairs Officer for the 11 campuses of the Montana University System including the State’s two-year/community colleges, regional comprehensive universities, Montana State University, and the University of Montana. Dr. Cech was Deputy Commissioner for Two-Year and Community College Education from 2011 through 2014, when his position was merged with that of the previous Deputy Commissioner for Academic & Student Affairs. Dr. Cech also served as CEO/Dean of City College, Montana State University Billings, from 2002-2010.

Dr. Cech and his wife Victoria will visit campus on Thursday, February 22 to meet with students, faculty and staff.

Dr. Thomas Powell is President Emeritus of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and served as president from 2003-2015. Now in its 207th year, Mount St. Mary’s is America’s second oldest Catholic university. Under his tenure, the university completed a six-year $61 million comprehensive capital campaign and their endowment increased from $28 million to $52 million. In addition, from 1999-2003, Dr. Powell was President and Professor of Education at Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia. Dr. Powell’s current position, which he has held since July 2015, is President of Saint John’s Catholic Preparatory School in Frederick, Maryland.

Dr. Powell and his wife Irene will visit campus on Wednesday, February 21 to meet with students, faculty and staff.

In the fall, the Carroll Board of Trustees appointed a 13-person presidential search committee comprised of a cross-section of representatives from the college community. AGB Search was hired in November to assist with the process with letters of interest and applications received through early January. After extensive applicant review and a series of offsite in-person interviews with select candidates, the two finalists were chosen.

The Trustees have set a target date of summer 2018 to have a new president onboard to replace former President Thomas Evans, PhD, who, in June 2017, accepted the position of president at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. Rev. Stephen Rowan, PhD, has served as interim president for the college since August 1, 2017, and will continue to serve in this capacity until a successor is in place.

Complete resumes/CVs for each finalist can be viewed on Carroll College’s presidential search website at

Carroll students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the open forums for each candidate. The Board of Trustees is expected to make a final decision on the presidential selection shortly following the campus visits.