Presidential Search

Fortin Science Center

Presidential Search for Carroll College

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 19th.

“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 served as President of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, 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. The Board of Trustees will make a final selection soon after the campus visits.

Learn More About the Candidates

  • Dr. John Cech, Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education, Montana University System (curriculum vitae)
  • Dr. Thomas Powell, President Emeritus Mount Saint Mary's University (curriculum vitae)

Scheduling information for each visit will be presented later this week.

The Selection Process

Read more about the Presidential Search Process here.

The Selection Process

The Board of Trustees of Carroll College invites nominations and applications for its 18th president to assume office in the summer of 2018. Located in Montana's State Capitol, Helena, in the Rocky Mountains, Carroll is a private, residential, Catholic, diocesan College known for academic excellence in both the liberal arts and pre-professional programs.

Carroll will give preference to candidates who have had experience in higher education as a faculty member and/or who have shown success with administrative responsibilities. Carroll is also seeking a president who understands and appreciates the culture of small private, faith-based colleges, who understands Carroll’s academic mission and values, and who understands and has demonstrated experience dealing strategically with admissions, retention, financial aid, curriculum, diversity and inclusiveness, developing new revenue sources, and allocating and reallocating resources to support effective new strategic initiatives. Carroll will also give preference to candidates who have demonstrated successful fundraising, who have experience with global initiatives, and who understand the role of the co-curriculum, including athletics and service, in the educational experience of Carroll’s students. Finally, Carroll is looking for an active Catholic who will continue Carroll’s tradition of welcoming students of all faiths and who can work effectively and productively both with a senior management team and a Board of Trustees deeply committed to the College and to best practices.

Fifty-five percent of Carroll’s approximately 1375 undergraduates come from states other than Montana; 43% are from Montana and 17 students are international, representing 12 countries. Carroll students have high praise for the dedication, talents, and accessibility of both faculty and staff members. Carroll graduates go on to highly ranked professional and graduate programs and/or to successful careers. Carroll’s Talking Saints forensics team has for the past 27 years either won or shared the Northwest Forensics Conference title. Nearly 400 students participate in intercollegiate athletics through the NAIA Division I Frontier and Cascade Conferences.

In the past five years, Carroll’s campus has undergone a significant transformation. Major projects, such as the new Hunthausen Activity Center and All Saints Chapel, were generously funded by the nearly complete MIND BODY SPIRIT capital campaign. In addition, new chemistry labs that foster collaborative student-faculty research and a black box theatre providing state-of-the-art performance space have helped expand Carroll's academic and extra-curricular offerings. During the past five years, including the campaign, Carroll has raised $45.5 million.

To learn more about Carroll, please review the Presidential Search Intitutional Profile


The presidential search committee will begin a review of applications immediately and continue work until an appointment is made. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by January 8, 2018 and include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and five professional references with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. References will not be contacted without prior authorization from the applicant. Applications should be sent electronically (MS Word or PDF) to:

Please direct nominations and inquiries to:

Jamie Ferrare, Ph.D.
Executive Search Consultant, AGB Search

Carroll College prohibits unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or sex, except when the reasonable demands of the position require an age, physical or mental disability, marital status, gender identity, sexual orientation, creed, religion, or sex distinction. In the case of religion and creed, such distinctions may be appropriate under state and federal constitutional provisions due to the religious character and Catholic identity of Carroll College and the nature of the particular employment position at issue.