Earlier this year, Dr. Marianne Evans Mount informed the CDU Board of Trustees of her desire to retire as President of CDU as soon as her successor can be recruited and engaged. A Presidential Search Committee, appointed by the CDU Board of Trustees and representing all constituencies of the university, has selected executive search firm Hyatt-Fennell to manage the search process under the guidance of the Committee. Hyatt-Fennell was chosen from a field of highly regarded search firms because of its expertise in serving small- to medium-sized faith-based institutions and deep connections across the Catholic higher education community.

President Mount has served CDU tirelessly since 1983. Under her leadership, CDU has grown from a catechetical institute with a staff of two offering paper correspondence courses to the world’s only exclusively online, fully accredited Catholic university. She served as Education Director from 1983 to 1985, Executive Director from 1985 to 1996, Vice President from 1997 to 2008, and as President since 2008 after earning her PhD. Marianne’s zeal for CDU’s mission, in partnership with dedicated employees, have brought CDU to an inflection point, with unprecedented opportunities to enhance the value of a CDU degree and the contributions of our graduates to the Church. The enhanced value will be created by the university’s recent HLC and ATS accreditations, innovations in curricula enabled by grant opportunities, enrollment growth, and new academic partnerships.

Hyatt-Fennell’s two founding partners, Cheryl Hyatt and Sister (Dr.) Marylouise Fennell, will be leading the search, supported by Partner Dr. Robert Head, a former university President with 40 years of leadership experience. They will conduct listening sessions with individual Trustees in early August and with faculty, staff, administrators, and students during the weeks of August 8 and August 15. Our goal is to have the newly appointed president begin work in early 2023.

This is an exciting period of challenges and opportunities to advance CDU’s mission by playing a larger role in Catholic higher education in service to the Church. I will keep our community apprised of the progress achieved by the Search Committee at key junctures in the search process.

Thank you for all you do to advance the mission of Catholic Distance University. Your contributions are deeply appreciated.–Steve Pryor, Chairman Board of Trustees