Marylhurst University

Skip to content »

Presidential Search Profile

The Board of Trustees of Marylhurst University cordially invites nominations and applications for the appointment of the next President of Marylhurst University.

Marylhurst University is a private institution of higher learning open to men and women of any race or religion. It is dedicated to making innovative post-secondary education accessible to self-directed students of any age through a variety of mediums including online learning. Marylhurst offers coursework leading to bachelor's and master's degrees, and to the fulfillment of other goals such as career transition, professional development and personal enrichment.

Animated by its Catholic and liberal arts heritage, Marylhurst emphasizes the uniqueness and dignity of each person, and is committed to the examination of values, as well as to quality academic and professional training. Marylhurst University seeks to aid students in advancing their goals for responsible participation in a rapidly changing world by pursuing, and encouraging its students to pursue, the ideals of competence, leadership and service.

The mission, vision and values are fully described on the Marylhurst University web site.


Candidates for the Marylhurst University Presidency should have a track record of exceptional leadership in a senior administrative role, demonstrable expertise in donor development and financial management, excellent communication and team-building skills, teaching and/or scholarly experience, and an earned advanced degree (doctorate preferred).

In addition, candidates must possess skills/attributes in the following areas:


  • Excitement for the mission of Marylhurst University and a respect for the institution's Catholic heritage and values. The successful candidate need not be Catholic but would preferably be a person of faith and spirituality and have a strong commitment to serving the under-served.
  • A demonstrated passion for the adult and non-traditional learner.

Financial/Business Acumen

  • Ability to understand the financial, enrollment and other challenges/opportunities that institutions such as Marylhurst face, coupled with the skill to manage the multiple levers available to meet and measure institutional goals (financial, quality, mission).

Strategic Vision & Planning

  • The ability to develop, articulate, and implement a sustainable vision for the University. This must include support and direction for curricular innovation and reform with the objective of achieving course offerings that provide the University with a sustainable competitive advantage.

Leadership & Management

  • Experience in aligning the goals of the organization to the skills that are needed to accomplish those goals by having the right people in the right roles. The ability to provide clear direction and stimulate people to stretch and grow.
  • The ability to be an advocate for Marylhurst's undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs with both passion and thoughtfulness.

Donor Development / Outreach

  • A record of achievement in university advancement and alumni relations or a demonstrable ability to be successful in these areas.
  • Experience creating and nurturing relationships with external organizations and constituents to advance the foundational base of Marylhurst supporters.



University Overview

Founded in 1893 by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, Marylhurst University was originally established as a private, Catholic, residential, liberal arts college that served the educational and religious needs of women in the Northwest. In 1974, the Sisters redefined the mission of the institution and transformed Marylhurst into a co-educational, commuter-based school for lifelong learning. This bold move gave Marylhurst its distinctive personality as a liberal arts institution that encompasses professional studies and caters to adult learners and non-traditional students. The mission and values of the university are focused on serving the under-served by providing students with greater access to unique educational offerings and by educating students in fields that provide direct service to others.

Campus Environment

The University is located on 60 acres in Lake Oswego, Oregon 10 miles south of Portland, Oregon, along the banks of the Willamette River. Located on the shores of a scenic 405-acre lake, Lake Oswego is within easy access to some of the state's greatest attractions: the Oregon coast 90 miles to the west, Mount Hood and the Columbia Gorge 45 miles to the east. Marylhurst's brick buildings, bell tower and beautiful park-like campus fit well with the surrounding area, providing a serene environment for study and reflecting the University's long history in the Northwest.

Academic Structure

The University comprises three major academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Business; and the School of Graduate Studies. Class sizes across the University are small to ensure personalized attention and foster collegial relationships between faculty, students and peers. This strategy promotes deeper understanding of course materials while it lays the foundation for each student's future professional network.


The typical Marylhurst student commutes to campus, does not engage in traditional extra-curricular activities, requires flexibility in course scheduling and student services, and is self-directed and independent. Successful Marylhurst students are highly motivated by well-defined professional goals or strong desires for personal transformation. This is true of Marylhurst students between the ages of 18-22 attending college for the first time as well as those returning to college in mid-life to complete a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or a professional certificate. In 2012-13, Marylhurst awarded 202 bachelor's degrees, 360 master's degrees and 56 certificates.


In Fall 2013, the University employed 201 adjunct and 54 regular faculty. They bring both academic and professional experience to the University where their expertise enables students to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to meet professional and other challenges. Marylhurst faculty members embrace an educational philosophy of engaging students, honoring the knowledge they bring to the classroom, and collaborating with them in learning.

Online Learning

Marylhurst's online courses are designed to enhance rich interaction and collaboration, while allowing students to pursue their studies at any time of day or night. In Fall 2013, 57% of enrolled students took at least one online course. Many students take blended classes that augment their face-to-face experience with an online component. The recently-launched M.S. in Food Systems and Society program employs a unique low-residency/blended model to take advantage of the best of both formats.

Outcomes Assessment

In curricular design, both undergraduate and graduate program directors embrace learning outcomes as the starting point and the key to assessment. The University's philosophy is that postsecondary education should emphasize both theory and practice, providing useful skills and knowledge, always in the context of a broad and deep engagement with ideas.

Prior Learning Assessment

Non-traditional and adult learners now constitute the majority of students in higher education. Marylhurst recognizes and values the knowledge these learners acquire in the course of their employment and life experiences. Credit for college-level life learning can be earned through the University's rigorous Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Program.

As a result of the success of Marylhurst's PLA program, the University was selected as one of only six institutions in North America for a benchmarking study by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). The outcome of this study was CAEL's Principles of Effectiveness in Serving Adult Learners which encompasses outreach, life and career planning, financing, assessment of learning outcomes, teaching-learning processes, student support systems, technology and strategic partnerships. These principles are embodied in all of Marylhurst's undergraduate programs.


Shoen Library supports lifelong learning by providing students and faculty with access to relevant instruction, services, and materials in a variety of formats, both on campus or online. Shoen Library's special collections in sacred music and Pacific Northwest history are valued additions to the Orbis Cascade Alliance, an academic library consortium which provides Marylhurst students and faculty access to more than 20 million volumes at 34 institutions, including the University of Oregon and the University of Washington.


For fiscal year 2013/14 the University has an operating budget of $21.1M. Tuition income of $19.1MM (net of discounts and scholarships) makes up 91% of revenue. In the 2012/13 academic year, 60% of all students received financial aid of some kind.

As of June 30, 2013, the University had invested securities valued at $20.3M and cash (and cash equivalents) of $2.6M. Total assets were valued at $44.2M - total Liabilities at $3.8M. The Plant and Facilities are valued at $37.5MM including depreciation of $18.9M. Depreciation runs at about $1.3M per year.

Marylhurst University carries virtually no debt. Long-term debt is limited to a $304,000 note due over the next seven years and two contingent liabilities (vendor financing of $245,000 and an asbestos abatement liability of $647,000) that require no payout.

The University is largely tuition dependent and, due to recent enrollment declines, has a current operating budget deficit. Under the leadership of Interim President Jerry Hudson, the University has implemented a financial plan to rebalance the budget by the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year. Maintaining the future health of the University will require careful financial management and innovative curricular development to achieve sustainable competitive advantage in the higher education marketplace.


Marylhurst has a unique blend of more than 10,000 alumni comprising two groups: those who graduated prior to 1974, when the University was a residential women's college, and post-1974 alumni, male and female, primarily adult learners. The post-1974 alumni attended Marylhurst as both on site and online students. Alumni giving is comparatively low (5%) so there is considerable room for growth, especially among its post-1974 alumni.

The University currently has two large challenge grants to support academic programs –– one for $1 million to endow the director/curator position of The Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion and the other for $100,000 to help fund the Master of Science in Food Systems & Society program. Major endowment gifts, as well as grants written in concert with academic departments, will play a significant role in strengthening the academic programs and allowing for growth and program enhancement.

180one is assisting Marylhurst University in this search. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity or wish to submit a nomination, please contact:

Greg Togni

All inquiries, applications, and nominations will be held in confidence.


© Marylhurst University