Tracing its roots to the 19th century St. Mary’s Academy in Monroe, Michigan, Marygrove College has been a fixture in northwest Detroit since 1927. For the next 90 years, Marygrove served both undergraduate and graduate students, mostly from the metro Detroit area, in a wide array of academic programs. However, changing demographics and other factors required the College to restructure in 2017. Undergraduate programs were discontinued as of December 2017. In January 2018, the College became a graduate-only institution, and currently offers graduate certificates and master’s degrees in education, human resource management, and social justice along with professional development programs.

In addition to restructuring its academic program offerings, Marygrove College also partnered with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Kresge Foundation to create the Marygrove Conservancy. The Conservancy is the steward for the 53-acre property and for facilities maintenance and related services for the campus. In September 2018, an exciting public announcement was made about a partnership involving Marygrove College, the Marygrove Conservancy, Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the University of Michigan and Starfish Family Services. This partnership will create a cradle-to-career campus that will provide seamless academic programming from pre-kindergarten through graduate education.



The opportunity to become Marygrove College’s 10th president follows the announcement that President Elizabeth Burns will retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.



Marygrove College, an independent, Catholic graduate institution, sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

  • educates students from diverse backgrounds,
  • fosters values-based leadership,
  • provides innovative graduate studies and professional development toward career enhancement and social responsibility, and
  • serves as an institutional leader within the city of Detroit.

Our students, as citizen-leaders, will inspire transformative change in their workplaces, communities, and society through intellectual rigor and professional excellence, creativity and imagination, active compassion for others, and lifelong commitment to a just, humane, and inclusive world.

Marygrove College, in collaboration with community and business partners, offers a transformative learning experience grounded in the values of:

Human Dignity- Respect and honor the inherent value of all persons
Community- Sustained engagement and responsibility for the common good
Social Justice- Ethical action that promotes equity and human rights
Ecological Justice- Action in support of the Earth Charter’s commitment to “protect and restore the integrity of Earth’s ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.”
Excellence- Commitment to the highest quality student service and responsible leadership, grounded in a culture of high expectations, continuous assessment, and evidence-based decision making
Innovation- Imaginative energy toward new ideas and opportunities that lead to the development of a clear purpose and shared goals
Diversity- Appreciation, inclusion and acceptance of the uniqueness of each individual, welcoming differences in race, cultural background, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and perspective, among other attributes through hiring, recruiting, marketing and community outreach practices.


The Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) works in partnership with the administration, faculty, staff, and boards to uphold the integrity of the IHM mission in the schools, maintain academic excellence, and keep tradition alive in each of the schools for future generations. The mission of the IHM-sponsored educational institutions includes personal and social transformation, which witnesses to the liberating mission of Jesus. Sponsored schools, faithful to the mission of the IHM congregation, educate in an environment permeated by the Gospel values of love, compassion, justice, reconciliation, and concern for the poor.



With a Curricular Focus on Ethical Leadership Development

As an intentionally small college, Marygrove places a high priority on the development of leadership skills through curricular experiences including online experienced peer interaction, faculty mentoring and on campus career and speaker events.

Excellent Teaching in a Personalized Learning Environment

Marygrove faculty members offer excellent instruction, careful attention to individual student needs, and thorough academic advising.

An Aesthetically Beautiful Campus

Many have called Marygrove one of Detroit’s most beautiful locations. All agree that it is the city’s most beautiful campus, creating a perfect atmosphere for learning with its peaceful wooded lawns and Tudor Gothic buildings.

Richly Diverse Student Body and Staff

Marygrove places a high value on its diverse student body: women and men of all ages with various cultural‚ ethnic and political backgrounds.

Development of a Learning Community Animated by Religious Values

The College’s deep commitment to religious values and Catholic social teachings is rooted in the mission and values of its founders, the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This commitment underscores every aspect of college life. The faculty, staff, and students share the goal of creating a just and caring community, and they view the College as a prototype of the world we all hope for and work toward.

Focus on Action toward Social Justice

Students and faculty are engaged in a variety of campus-initiated projects, coalitions, and local and national organizations committed to objectives consonant with the IHM Sisters’ and Marygrove College’s goals of eliminating the systemic causes of injustice and collaborating in the building of just, sustainable and inclusive communities.

Service to the People of Detroit and the Detroit Urban Region

The College actively participates in the civic, cultural, and community life of Detroit and encourages students to do likewise. The Institute of Music and Dance and Institute for Detroit Studies open Marygrove’s doors to hundreds of Detroiters each year.


(Limited On Campus Programming)

Marygrove College is making substantial progress in recruiting new online graduate students under its restructured graduate and professional programming through various digital professional and social platforms. The Master in the Art of Teaching and the Professional Development Reading Course are experiencing the most interest in newly recruited students. Each degree offers unique coursework and specialization for working professionals interested in expanding their expertise and leadership skills.


Academic Catalogs
Tuition & Fees
Certificate: Autism Spectrum Disorders
Certificate: Human Resource Management
Certificate: School Administrator Certificate
Master of Arts: Educational Leadership
Master of Arts: Human Resource Management
Master of Arts: Social Justice
Master in the Art of Teaching: Curriculum Instruction and Assessment
Master in the Art of Teaching: Mathematics K-5
Master in the Art of Teaching: Mathematics 6-8
Master in the Art of Teaching: Reading & Literacy K-6
Master in the Art of Teaching: Effective Teaching in the 21st Century
Master in the Art of Teaching: Special Education Concentration
Master of Education: Educational Technology
Master of Education: Reading Specialist
Master of Education: Autism Spectrum Disorders Concentration
Michigan Required Reading Course

In addition, Marygrove College, through its Institute of Music and Dance, offers programming for children and adults in music and dance instruction as well as the Institute of Detroit Studies, which includes the very successful and renowned Marygrove Contemporary American Authors series



By 2021, Marygrove College will have established a position in the region as a sustainable, stand-alone graduate education partner, providing students with an excellent educational experience.

The defined themes and specific goals which will enable achievement of the strategic vision are:

Theme I: Program and Enrollment Momentum
Goal 1: Increase Recruitment and Marketing efforts to expand presence locally, regionally and nationally.
Goal 2: Review all program elements to ensure they provide high quality student learning experiences and programs.
Goal 3: Create new programs that will support the mission and increase enrollment.
Goal 4: Retain Returning Students.
Theme II: Fiscally Lean and Efficient
Goal 5: Assure quality in business and financial processes.
Goal 6: Assure quality in the personnel review process to ensure the College has the right number of staff and faculty with the right skill sets.
Goal 7: Create a process to continuously review all policies and processes for effectiveness and efficiencies.
Theme III: Strong and Expanding Partnerships
Goal 8: Strengthen existing corporate and community partnerships and develop new partnerships to directly enhance and support the programs of and enrollment at Marygrove College.
Goal 9: Develop and implement a plan for the use of social media to support outreach and advocacy efforts with the ultimate goal of creating a recognized social media personality for the college.
Goal 10: Develop and implement strategies to support college outreach and visibility efforts. Focus on high-exposure, broad-based opportunities that include community, professional, non-profit organizations.
Goal 11: Work with and through the Marygrove College Alumni Association to increase alumni engagement and partnership opportunities in support of enrollment and programmatic objectives
Theme IV: Vibrant, Student-Centered Co-Educator Community
Goal 12: Integrate Marygrove’s Mission, Vision, and Values into the life and operations of the College Community.
Goal 13: Create and embrace culture of social entrepreneurship and risk-taking.
Goal 14: Create a culture of service excellence to ensure student and mission-centered processes.
Goal 15: Develop/define the co-educator model to create a learning community.



To improve the finances of the College, Marygrove College has undergone significant restructuring, including the closure of the undergraduate program in December of 2017 after declaring financial exigency in August of 2017. Prior to that move, the College had also agreed to transfer the campus property and buildings to the Marygrove Conservancy. The Conservancy model had been supported by Detroit-based foundations to assist in the preservation of landmarks and historical areas in the city during the time Detroit was financially strapped.

The Higher Learning Commission approved this transfer in January of 2018 and the transfer was completed in February 2018. Since that time, Marygrove College Campus Conservancy Board has taken over management of the campus. This transition was completed as of January 1, 2019. The College now leases the main classroom building on campus.

In September of 2018, the creation of the P-20 campus was announced, with the College, the Conservancy, the University of Michigan School of Education, the Kresge Foundation, Starfish (Early childhood education providers), IFF and the Detroit Public Schools Community District coming together to create an educational campus covering early childhood, K-12, undergraduate and graduate education. Work is underway to renovate a former high school building on campus for the K-12 school. The high school will start a 9th grade class in the Liberal Arts Building in the fall of 2019. The Early Childhood Education Center will be built on campus starting in 2019 and both the ECE Center and the K-12 school renovation should be done for the fall of 2020.

The Kresge Foundation has provided funding to stabilize the College while it works on growing enrollment and developing new programs.

Detailed financial statements will be provided to the finalists for this position.


2018/2019 Board of Trustees

Maryfrances Barber, IHM, Ph.D. Alumna 1974 Senior Lecturer, Chemistry Department Wayne State University
Kathryn M. Benesh, B.A. Senior Audit Partner Deloitte & Touche LLP
Alfred G. Binford, M.B.A. Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Solutions Sungard Availability Services
Elizabeth A. Burns, MD, MA Alumna 1972 President Marygrove College
John C. Cavanaugh, Ph.D. Chairperson of the Board President Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
Marie A. Cini, Ph.D. President The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
Paula Cooney, IHM, M.A. Alumna 1964 Elder Care Consultant Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Diane DeFrancis, B.S. Partner Deloitte & Touche LLP
Nancy Geschke, B.A., MLS Secretary of the Board Alumna 1964 Retired
Richmond J. Hawkins, B.A. Senior Commercial Lender Detroit Development Fund
Mary Ann Hinsdale, IHM, Ph.D. Alumna 1970 Associate Professor of Theology Boston College
Sharon Holland, IHM, J.C.D. Alumna 1961 Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Donna M. Jurick, SND, Ph.D. Executive Vice President Emerita St. Edward’s University
Mary Massaron, J.D. Treasurer of the Board Alumna 1982 Senior Attorney Plunkett Cooney
Patricia McCluskey, IHM, Ph.D. Vice Chairperson of the Board Alumna 1966 Mission Councilor Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Leadership Council Elizabeth D. Richards, M.A. Alumna 1964 Retired
Karen M. Ristau, Ed.D. Retired President, National Catholic Educational Association, and Retired Professor, University of St. Thomas Kathleen Schultz, IHM, M.A. Marygrove College Graduate, 1965 Independent Grant Writing, Research and Organizational Consultant Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary



Marygrove College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. Maintaining HLC accreditation is crucial to our ongoing operation in that it demonstrates the quality of our processes and services and provides evidence of the excellence of our educational programs to our stakeholders. Accreditation enables us to hire highly qualified faculty and staff members; it enables our students to receive financial aid and other services in their pursuit of a Marygrove College education.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits approximately 1,000 colleges and universities that have a home base in one of 19 states that stretch from West Virginia to Arizona. HLC is a private, nonprofit accrediting agency. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. (More detail can be found here).



The P-20 Partnership – one of the first in the nation – is backed with a $50 million commitment from The Kresge Foundation, marking the largest philanthropic investment in history into a Detroit neighborhood. The investment places education at the center of community revitalization efforts in the Livernois-McNichols district in northwest Detroit. The University of Michigan is one of several organizations coming together to form a cradle-to-career educational partnership on the campus of Marygrove College, to include a state-of-the-art early childhood education center, a new K-12 school, and the introduction of an innovative teacher education program modeled after hospital residency programs.

In addition to the construction of a new early childhood education center, the Kresge commitment will renovate the former Bates Academy (originally Immaculata High School) on the Marygrove campus for the K-12 grades.

This landmark educational campus – which will offer prenatal services through graduate school studies with wrap-around services and community programs – is being jointly developed through a partnership including Kresge, the University of Michigan School of Education (U-M SOE), Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the Marygrove Conservancy, Marygrove College, Starfish Family Services, IFF, and the Detroit Collaborative Design Center of the University of Detroit Mercy.



Detroit is a major city with a very rich tradition in innovation (Henry Ford and other innovators), manufacturing, art, education, music, sports, and finance, to name only a few arenas. It is culturally, ethnically, and racially very diverse. It has also experienced significant upheaval in many ways and there are continuing challenges.

Currently, Detroit is reenergized, re-visioning itself, and has become a crucible of 21st century innovation and entrepreneurship. The downtown core and Midtown have become innovation hubs, and a great deal of revitalization and investment have occurred. The neighborhood initiative to rebuild vacant and abandoned properties that was launched by Mayor Michael Duggan with Marygrove College as a partner continues and other new initiatives have begun. In brief, Detroit is poised to emerge as a strong, revitalized 21st century city, with Marygrove College, positioned by location, as a strong partner.

The only World UNESCO city of design in North America, Detroit offers a wealth of professional, cultural, and social opportunities for students, residents, and visitors. Affordable access to living and working spaces, a vibrant and socially minded culture, the lure of new adventure, the opportunity to collaborate with an international community of creatives and educators and the ease of becoming an entrepreneur – these are just some of the characteristics that are aiding the resurgence of our multifaceted city.

Marygrove College is located at the Northwest corner of Detroit on 53 beautiful wooded acres, just a short drive away from iconic places like the Motown Museum, the Detroit Film Theatre and the Detroit Institute of Arts – one of the largest and most important collections in the country. The College is a short drive to artisanal coffee shops and restaurants, design boutiques, art galleries, and live music and sports venues all located in Detroit. Our alumni take full advantage of becoming leaders in academic, business, social justice and other entrepreneurial, high impact initiatives throughout the city.

For more information on Detroit and its many attractions, Visit Detroit.



Marygrove College, situated within the context of the Cradle-to-Career Vision being implemented on the campus, represents a totally new moment in the history of the College and provides a unique opportunity for the exercise of creative, innovative, collaborative presidential leadership to both further the mission and vision of the College as a provider of graduate studies and professional development and to contribute to the development of the Cradle-to-Career Vision on the Campus.



  • Reporting directly to the Board of Trustees, the President is charged with driving the vision for the institution, collaboratively developing policies that support this vision, fostering educational programs that are strategic and relevant, ensuring long-term sustainability of the academic enterprise, and expanding the connectivity between the College and its constituencies (alumni, business, civic, and community).
  • The President shall be a persuasive advocate for the institution who develops talent, resources and ideas that will advance the College’s reputation and stature.
  • The successful candidate will have strategic, programmatic, financial and management operational responsibility that will support Marygrove’s vision for preparing educators and social impact citizens and innovators.
  • The President will need to build on the College’s strong foundation while exploring new opportunities that are consistent with Marygrove’s student-centered and community-engaged mission.
  • The President will be a champion for equity and inclusion, continuing the strong legacy of Marygrove’s success in broadening its diversity and providing opportunity.



The President will have direct supervisory responsibilities of the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Enrollment Management & Student Affairs, Controller, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Information Technology Executive Director in addition to oversight of Marygrove College’s collaborations with the P-20 partners and other initiatives.


Working in close cooperation and collaboration with the Board of Trustees, the President will evolve the current strategic plan and oversee performance measures associated with its objectives. The strategic plan incorporates the following pillars:

  • Expanding and strengthening the incoming graduate student pipelines;
  • Developing and enhancing curricula, scaling degree programs, and providing a clear academic vision for the institution;
  • Building a holistic student experience to increase retention.
  • Bolstering the College’s financial position.

To execute the plan, the President is expected to take action in each of the following areas:

Stakeholder Management & Engagement

  • Further engage the Detroit community and enhance the regional footprint;
  • Provide leadership for building a good working relationship with a collaborative Board that is strategic, transparent, resourceful, and generous;
  • Work with the Board to maintain the College’s future financial viability and well-being;
  • Hold the organization and people accountable, ensuring that operational goals are being met;
  • Champion and actualize the imperative to further build and support a pluralistic, diverse, and inclusive community;
  • Increase alumni engagement to strengthen College initiatives;
  • Deepen community engagement to position Marygrove College as a leading partner in Detroit’s revitalization;
  • Cultivate a spirit of enthusiasm and a culture of trust, transparency, and collegiality.

Marketing, Advocacy and Fundraising

  • Provide an inspiring institutional vision to increase fundraising opportunities, institutional loyalty, and philanthropic engagement;
  • Communicate the distinctiveness, uniqueness and relevance of the College’s programs to a broad audience of internal and external stakeholders;
  • Provide leadership for prioritizing and coordinating development efforts;
  • Expand the donor base;
  • Provide leadership for developing a cohesive, coherent, and contemporary marketing platform and communications strategy to attract a diverse group of students, while developing effective programs to sustain and support their retention and success.

Administrative Leadership & Operational Effectiveness

  • Collaboratively develop and implement a sustainable institutional strategy built on empowerment, accountability, inclusion, and trust based on the integration of the IHM Sisters’ mission.
  • Commit to recruit, develop and retain a diverse and high-quality faculty and staff;
  • Ensure compliance with accreditation requirements and federal, state, and local regulations;
  • Evaluate and enhance employment-related processes;
  • Respond effectively to unexpected needs or crises;
  • Leverage technology and other tools to improve institutional performance;
  • Create internal systems to increase efficiency, transparency, and clear expectations.

Fiscal Prudence

  • Develop and implement sound fiscal policies to protect the intellectual and physical assets of the College;
  • Monitor the organization’s financial and administrative health;
  • Meet budget targets and seek cost savings.



Leadership Style, Experience and Qualities

  • Willingness to embrace the mission and values of Marygrove College as an independent, Catholic graduate institution, sponsored by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Sensitivity and respect for racial/ethnic/gender diversity and diverse religious traditions
  • Commitment to social justice
  • Appreciation and commitment to partnership in the revitalization of Detroit, particularly in the Livernois 6 Mile (Live6) area
  • Awareness and commitment to the Marygrove Conservancy P-20 Cradle-to-Career Vision for the campus
  • Ability to exercise creative, innovative and collaborative leadership to enable development of current and future graduate study and certificate programs and other professional development opportunities.
  • Capability of identifying potential corporate partners and generating professional development possibilities to meet the need of their constituencies
  • An energetic style that builds trust, empowers others, and instills a sense of joint ownership of institutional mission and values;

An inclusive leadership style that incorporates collaboration, values listening, and a healthy sense of humor

  • Abundant social emotional intelligence that can sensitively manage institutional change
  • Aptitude in connectivity and high interaction with Detroit’s public and private civic leaders
  • Interest and willingness to be accessible to and to interact with students and faculty.


  • Demonstrated experience with on-line product creation and delivery (e.g. academic courses, professional development, webinars, services, etc.)
  •  5 -10 years’ experience at the senior executive/management level
  • Accomplished experience in building an effective senior leadership team
  • An understanding of higher education program/certification accreditation requirements and trends
  • An understanding and appreciation for faculty academic culture
  • Experience with higher education institutions is desirable; equivalent distinguished leadership experience at relevant organizations will also be seriously considered.
  • Demonstrated record of entrepreneurial leadership
  • Financial acumen and ability to identify strategic resource needs
  • Proven experience in creating and managing budgets
  • Demonstrated experience of relational and communication abilities
  • Ability to engage in effective external/public relations work and communicate the value of diverse graduate programs and professional development opportunities to prospective students, alumni, and other current and potential stakeholders
  • Demonstrated experience and a willingness to engage in fund-raising efforts and building relationships with alumni, donors, philanthropic organizations, and other stakeholders
  • Proven ability to engage in formulation and implementation of long-range strategic plans


A terminal degree is preferred. In lieu of a terminal degree, candidates should possess an exemplary record of success in a relevant leadership position.


Marygrove College offers an attractive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with the successful candidate’s background and experience.


Applications should consist of a detailed cover letter responsive to the needs of Marygrove College and a curriculum vitae or resume.
For priority consideration, please apply by March 20, 2019.

To ensure full consideration, inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted in confidence to:

Blaire Miller,, Tel: 248.645.1551 ext. 207 or
Martin Baker,, Tel: 336.721.9100



Selected candidates will be notified to interview with the Presidential Search Committee on campus beginning March 14 with finalists invited back to the campus on March 21 to meet with key constituencies. Candidacy will remain confidential until the final invitation to meet on campus on March 21 to present as a top finalist


Marygrove College is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons based on race, religion, color, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, gender, gender identity, marital status, medical condition, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation or covered veteran status. Marygrove College is intent on creating an enriching environment that is open to anyone looking to become members of its faculty, staff, and student body. Our goal is to create an intercultural learning environment comprised of varied experiences and perspectives.