The Newman University Board of Trustees has announced the formation of a search committee for the next university president along with a series of leadership changes to the board’s executive team.
A search committee, led by Jason R. Searl, will begin work immediately to identify potential candidates to replace President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., who announced her resignation in May. Searl has been a member of the board since 2018 and served on the audit and finance committees.
Since 2014, Searl has been an independent management consultant specializing in commodity origination, sales, optimization, new market development and multiple other facets of business. He advises Watco Companies, a privately held, global leader in transportation and terminaling, headquartered in Kansas. Prior to this, he was an executive at Poet Ethanol Products from 2000-2014 and worked at Koch Industries from 1994-2000.
“Our goal is to identify the right leader who will guide Newman University through the many real challenges facing higher education today and help the university forge a successful path forward to a bright and thriving future,” Searl said.
In preparation for Carrocci’s retirement at the end of the year, the Board of Trustees also announced that current chair Teresa Hall Bartels will resign effective Oct. 1 and take over as Newman’s interim president upon Carrocci’s departure.
Since July, Bartels has volunteered and served as the Officer in Charge of the University on a pro bono basis while Carrocci focused on fundraising and championing Newman throughout the community.
Bartels provides an impressive and vast experience in leading nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She leads her own consulting firm, Hallbart Consulting LLC, primarily working with chief executive officers as a leadership coach and facilitating strategic planning. Bartels served as president and CEO of Gateway for Cancer Research from 2014-2018 and was president of United Way International from 2007-2010, leading it through a merger to become United Way Worldwide.
She has served as an interim CEO four times during her career, including two nonprofit organizations that support higher education. She attended Newman University and received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Newman in 2010.
“I have been blessed to be able to serve Newman University as board chair for the past two years and it’s a humbling responsibility to lead this amazing university on an interim basis as we look for the next president to build upon the great work Noreen has accomplished during her tenure,” Bartels said.
With Bartels leaving her executive position on the board, J.T. Klaus has been named chair of the Newman Board of Trustees effective Oct. 1. He has been a member of the board since 2013 serving on several committees and serving as vice-chair this past year.
Klaus is a 1987 graduate of Newman University and currently a partner/member of Triplett Woolf & Garretson, LLC, where he has gained a national reputation of excellence in public finance law. He has been honored multiple times on U.S. News and World Reports’ “Best Lawyers in America” list.
Rounding out its executive committee moves, the Board of Trustees has named Ron Rabe as its new vice-chair. He has been a Newman board member since 2018 serving on the finance and operations committees.
Rabe is Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Procurement Officer at Spirit Aerosystems. He received a Bachelor of Science in business management from Newman University in 1996. Rabe joined Spirit Aerosystems in 2015 with more than three decades of leadership experience.
“We are pleased and fortunate to have such talented and dedicated servant leaders like J.T. Klaus and Ron Rabe on the Newman University Board of Trustees,” Bartels said. “They both have a love for the university and bring unique and valuable perspectives to their leadership roles.”