Vice presidential search to be announced soon; Ropella will chair
Marquette is moving forward with plans to officially open a centralized Office of Corporate Engagement by the end of the calendar year, Executive Vice President Dave Lawlor shared today. Earlier this year, President Michael R. Lovell appointed Lawlor to lead the efforts to create the office, which the president calls critical to realizing its vision to be among the most innovative and accomplished Catholic, Jesuit universities in the world.
Lawlor said the search for a vice president for corporate engagement will begin in the coming weeks and will be chaired by Dr. Kris Ropella, Opus Dean of Engineering. A search committee and executive search firm will be announced soon. The vice president will report directly to President Lovell.
Developing the Office of Corporate Engagement was the unanimous recommendation of the President’s Task Force on Corporate Engagement at the end of last year. President Lovell subsequently announced the vision for a new office in his January 17 campus address.
The task force — commissioned by President Lovell in August 2017 as a process to help implement Marquette’s strategic plan Beyond Boundaries and the campus master plan — examined the future of corporate engagement at Marquette. Nearly 70 individuals from across campus as well as corporate partners participated in the task force with goals that included improving communication, aligning priorities and increasing the effectiveness of current and future external relationships. The committee focused on seven dimensions of corporate engagement and created broadly represented working groups for each. Those groups, which conducted SWOT analyses, examined best practices and ultimately made recommendations, include:
- Academic programs and executive education
- Talent development
- Corporate-sponsored research
- Technology transfer
- Consortia and alliances
- Corporate philanthropy and sponsorship
- Contracts and service partnerships
Since the Presidential Address, an expanded Corporate Engagement Steering Committee has laid significant groundwork toward formalizing, enhancing and streamlining the ways in which Marquette works with corporate partners.
“Our partnerships will always start with mission alignment and innovation,” Lawlor said. “We will seek forward-looking organizations with shared values and strategic priorities that align with Marquette. We’re taking a holistic view of how we can develop deep partnerships rooted in a common vision and innovative spirit that will ultimately benefit our students, faculty, staff and the broader community.”
The recently announced partnership with Wintrust and Town Bank is an example of an agreement that Lawlor says casts a mold for one of the types of partnership opportunities the new office will seek. He added that pursuing mission-based, corporate-sponsored research will also be a top priority.
The corporate engagement steering committee, which is helping drive the readiness tasks necessary to open the office by December, comprises President Lovell, Provost Dan Myers and Lawlor; Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation; Gina Sholtis, vice president for university advancement; Dr. Kris Ropella, Opus Dean of Engineering; Dr. Brian Till, Keyes Dean of Business Administration; Dr. Doug Woods, vice provost for graduate and professional studies and dean of the Graduate School; Rev. Nicky Santos, S.J., assistant professor of marketing; Kate Braasch, assistant vice president for presidential relations; and Joseph Walicki, president of Johnson Controls Power Solutions and university trustee. Jean Dole, chief of staff for the office of the executive vice president, is staffing the committee.
Watch Marquette Today for updates on the Office of Corporate Engagement.