[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] On Monday, February 28, 2011, at an academic convocation on the campus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Anne Glynn Mackoul, Executive Chair of the seminary’s Board of Trustees, announced a decision by the Board to reappoint the seminary Dean, Archpriest John Behr, and Chancellor, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, to their positions for additional five-year terms, beginning in 2012. In reappointing the two leaders, said Mrs. Mackoul, the Board recognized the considerable accomplishments and distinctive leadership of each leader and also reconfirmed the Boards commitment to the model of shared governance instituted at the beginning of their first terms.
In 2007 the Board devised a unique model of shared governance for the seminary, assigning to Fr. John as Dean primary responsibility for the spiritual and academic life of the school, and Fr. Chad as Chancellor primary responsibility for financial and operational leadership, but with elements of shared responsibility in all areas between the two administrators. At the same time the Board established a board position of Executive Chair, elected from among the lay trustees, to serve as a point of reference for the Board and to consult with the Dean and Chancellor.
In evaluating the strengths and achievements of these two administrators, the Board took particular note of their success as a team in leading the seminary. Their particular gifts and personal attributes are complementary, said Mrs. Mackoul, allowing the seminary and its students to benefit from the best of both approaches to leadership. We could not have anticipated the financial crisis that so dramatically impacted their first years in office. The board has been gratified by their grace under pressure and clear-sighted focus on both the immediate needs of the seminary and the long-range vision and mission of St. Vladimir’s.
We are particularly impressed, she continued, with the new curriculum, developed to support enhanced pastoral training and practical preparation of priests for Orthodox parishes and including new courses in missiology. We also welcome the many significant events on our campus that fulfill the seminary’s mission to serve Christ, his Church, and the world through Orthodox Christian theological education, research, and scholarship, and the promotion of inter-Orthodox cooperation.
Many thanks also are due to the alumni, benefactors, and donors who support the seminary, both materially and in prayer, she concluded. The work of the seminary leadership, both past and future, would be impossible without their help.
Fr. John, in acknowledging the renewal of his role, said, I am very honored to be asked to serve the Church for a further term as Dean of St. Vladimir’s. Many new initiatives have been begun over recent years, and I look forward to seeing them bear fruit in the lives of our graduates and our service to the Church more generally.
Likewise, Fr. Chad expressed his gratitude, saying, I am thankful to the many who were part of the evaluation process which contributed to the decision of our Board of Trustees to offer a second five-year term to both the Dean and Chancellor. Much of our first term was dominated by our institutional response to the economic challenges of our time. I expect this to continue in the second term, but an equally strong force driving the agenda will be this administrations determination to keep SVOTS the leading Orthodox seminary in both pastoral formation and academic excellence. I look forward to meeting the great opportunities God will provide for us.