Mercyhurst trustees extend president’s contract

The Mercyhurst College Board of Trustees has extended the contract of Dr. William P. Garvey as college president until June 30, 2007, giving the new board leadership a year before a presidential search and selection process begins. The contract extension was recommended by the executive committee of the board and unanimously approved by trustees, explained Marlene Mosco, newly elected chair of the board.

Garvey will begin his 25th year as Mercyhurst president in September 2004, continuing his work as the driving force behind the success of contemporary Mercyhurst, said Mosco. 

During Garvey’s tenure, Mercyhurst has earned a regional reputation as being one of the 10 best comprehensive liberal arts colleges in the North and has gained national prominence for its programs in applied intelligence, forensic science, anthropology, archaeology and dance.

Mosco noted that the coming year would be a transition year for the board and the Sisters of Mercy who founded the college. 

“William Sennett, who was chair of the board for nine years, and Sister JoAnne Courneen, secretary of the board and president of the Sisters of Mercy for eight years, both completed their tenures in June,” explained Mosco. “The new leadership teams of both institutions need a year to become acclimated to their governing responsibilities before we set into motion a presidential transition.”

Mosco said that Mercyhurst expects a student body of more than 4,000 in the fall, including about 3,100 students on the Erie campus and 900 on the North East campus. She noted that Mercyhurst will welcome 1,200 freshmen in September, with 710 students settling on the main campus in Erie and another 500 students beginning their first year at Mercyhurst North East.

“The college is in terrific shape,” said Mosco. “All the signs of the college are healthy. The board just approved a $74 million operating budget for the 2004-05 year and the college has its largest student body and strongest faculty in the history of the institution.”

Local support for Mercyhurst is at an all-time high,” Mosco added, explaining that the college has recently raised more than $22 million in a capital campaign to support Mercyhurst initiatives. Among those projects are two recently approved by the trustees: the current construction of a $5.5 million academic building at Mercyhurst North East, and continuation of the search for a site for a west Erie County campus.

“It’s an exciting time to be part of Mercyhurst,” said Mosco. “Trustees are pleased that President Garvey has agreed to the contract extension. We look forward to continued progressive leadership and fresh new ideas from Dr. Garvey that have been the hallmark of his presidency these last 25 years,” Mosco said.

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