Presidential Search

Building on Detroit Mercy's Boundless Future

campus aerial shot


University of Detroit Mercy has initiated a search for the institution's 26th president. The president is the institutional leader and works in conjunction with the University board of trustees and senior leadership to guide all Detroit Mercy campuses. As the search for our next leader progresses, please check this site for news and updates on the process.

Full Position Description (pdf)

A letter from the Presidential Search Committee Chair

As chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, it is an honor to serve in this role as we seek our 26th President of University Detroit Mercy. It is the goal of our search committee that we work with our search consultants Isaacson, Miller to identify a successor President who will build upon the legacy and momentum established by President Antoine M. Garibaldi during his distinguished tenure as President. Continue reading letter ....

Position Profile

4 students in a dorm room

Detroit Mercy's presidential search committee is actively engaged in developing a position profile that provides comprehensive details of this unique opportunity and communicates to presidential candidates the importance of building on Detroit Mercy's momentum over the past decade. In addition, this position profile will include information gathered from scoping meetings with Detroit Mercy faculty, staff, students and external community members. The position profile will be available in the near future and we encourage everyone to check this site regularly for updates.

Full Position Description (pdf)

My time at Detroit Mercy has been quite different than what I originally thought it was going to be. The small, tight-knit community that we have here is very important to me."

Danielle Maxwell '19


Estimated Timeline of Presidential Search
Timeframe line design element Event
Early September, 2021 decorative dot Search Committee Launch and University Community / Scoping Sessions
Late October decorative dot Search Committee Reviews Preliminary Candidate Pool
Early December decorative dot Search Committee Reviews Candidate Pool and Selects Semifinalist Candidates
January, 2022 decorative dot Semifinalist Candidate Interviews
January/February decorative dot Finalist Candidate Interviews

Search Committee

Board of Trustee Members 

Michael J. Brenner, M.B.A. ’67
Executive Vice President
Related Companies

Judith A. Carey, RSM, Ph.D.
Organizational Consultant/Facilitator

Nancy E. Hazely ’78
Chief Executive Officer
Tax Trilogy, LLC

Michael T. McNamara
Chairman of the Board
Hollingsworth, LLC

Emil J. Brolick ’69, ’72
Presidential Search Committee Chair
Retired President & Chief Executive Officer
The Wendy’s Company

Rev. Theodore Munz, S.J. ’76
University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy

Eric J. Stanczak, Jr. ’93
Director, North America Product Development Quality
General Motors Company

Mary M. Fisher, D.D.S. ’81
Owner, Mary Fisher D.D.S

Non-Board Members

Riyad Al-Qawasmi, D.D.S.
Associate Professor of Dentistry and Director of Orthodontics and Graduate Education

Matthew Mio, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair of Chemistry Department

Stephen Wilks, J.D, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Law

Monica Williams
Dean of Students

Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology

Shared Governance and the Presidential Search Process

Additional stakeholders will take part in the confidential interview process for semi-finalist candidates and provide written feedback to the search committee. Faculty participants in the interview process will be elected by their college or school.

Detroit Mercy serves a very wonderful purpose for our community and our society and we need to support that.

Tom Page '71 '76

News and Updates

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  • September 13: A message from Presidential Search Committee Chair Emil Brolick

    Monday September 13, 2021

    Dear Detroit Mercy Community,

    As Chair of the Search Committee for University of Detroit Mercy’s 26th president, I want to thank those of you who took the time to attend a meeting this week with representatives of Isaacson, Miller, our presidential search consultants. It is important to remain open and listen to all voices as the search to replace President Antoine M. Garibaldi moves forward.

    In our efforts to make this process as transparent as possible, the University has created a web page for information about the search. On, you will find a place to provide input and even nominate a particular candidate. This site will be where announcements will be posted as the search progresses, as well.

    We hope you will find this web page an important resource as we seek the University’s next president.

    Thank you,

    Emil Brolick
    Chair, Presidential Search Committee

  • September 03: A letter from the Presidential Search Committee Chair

    Friday September 03, 2021

    As chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, it is an honor to serve in this role as we seek our 26th President of University Detroit Mercy. It is the goal of our search committee that we work with our search consultants Isaacson, Miller to identify a successor President who will build upon the legacy and momentum established by President Antoine M. Garibaldi during his distinguished tenure as President.

    The Board of Trustees is committed to a comprehensive and thorough search that provides the best outcome for Detroit Mercy to identify an accomplished, innovative and visionary leader who will inspire our University community to a bright and successful future. Our search consultants from Isaacson, Miller will be conducting numerous scoping sessions over the next few weeks, including on campus open forums. I hope many of you will participate in this central part of the search process. Your input is essential as we launch this important effort.

    Our search committee is comprised of individuals with deep ties to the University, who truly value our Jesuit and Mercy institution and the students and community we serve. I thank the search committee members for their commitment to this process and to the University Detroit Mercy. Most importantly, I am grateful to our University community and look forward to hearing from you during this process.

    The Building on Detroit Mercy’s Boundless Future: Presidential Search website contains information for everyone to learn more about the search process as well as areas where individuals can make inquiries and read updates. I want to express a special thanks to our search partners, Isaacson, Miller for their expertise and guidance. As you will read on this website, Isaacson, Miller brings a wealth of experience and knowledge for higher education presidential searches. I am confident that in working with the search committee, Isaacson, Miller and with your input, we will identify an exceptional leader for our University Detroit Mercy.

    Finally, please check in on this website periodically. We will share updates with the university community and other announcements as we progress.

    Best regards,
    Emil J. Brolick ’69, ’72
    Retired President & Chief Executive Officer
    The Wendy’s Company
    Chairperson, Presidential Search Committee

  • August 16: President Antoine M. Garibaldi says he will conclude presidency in June 2022

    Monday August 16, 2021

    Dr. Garibaldi walking with two students.

    The following is a letter to the Detroit Mercy community from President Antoine M. Garibaldi.

    Dear University of Detroit Mercy Students, Faculty, Staff and Alumni:

    I hope you have had a wonderful summer! As we begin the 2021-22 academic year, I write to tell you that earlier this morning at our annual President’s Convocation, I announced that this will be my final year as president of University of Detroit Mercy. This is a decision to which I have given much consideration. When I renewed my last contract more than four years ago, the Board of Trustees gave me the opportunity to decide how long I wanted to serve as president. That began my discernment about a planned succession, and I determined that an ideal time would be through June 30, 2022. We have accomplished much together over the last 10 years and two months, and I am energized to achieve even more of our goals over the next 10 months when a successor begins. I will take a sabbatical during the 2022-2023 academic year and return to Detroit Mercy as a tenured professor to continue my career-long interests in research, teaching and scholarship.

    Ten years ago, when I gave my first remarks to the faculty and staff at the Aug. 16, 2011 President’s Convocation, I referenced the research of organizational theorist Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great, and talked about the importance of University of Detroit Mercy and the other more than 4,000 higher education institutions becoming more than just “good” and advancing themselves to a status of “great” if they expected to survive. At our summer 2011 convocation, I presented a framework of “Advancing from Good to Great.” I indicated that Detroit Mercy had already established itself as “good” in many ways – “excellent faculty and staff, very talented students, outstanding alumni, a national and regional reputation, a strong Jesuit and Mercy mission and more.” But I also said that “we can become even better and advance from good to great with some prospective thinking and aggressive work on our part to accomplish several bold goals over the next three to five years.” Those goals were:

    • strategic planning;
    • increasing enrollment, retention and graduation rates;
    • increasing fundraising and building the endowment;
    • expanding our engagement and partnerships with the community; and,
    • continuing to strengthen the University’s Mission and Identity.

    Together, we have made excellent progress on all of those goals over the past decade; and I will highlight some of them here.

    • The University’s Strategic Planning Committee diligently began its work that August and met with colleagues across the three campuses through the fall and spring semesters and completed a draft Five-Year Plan by April 2012, which was approved by the Board of Trustees that summer. That initial plan and our current five-year plan, Boundlessly  Forward: Detroit Mercy 2019-2024, have been the guideposts for our achievements and aspirations.
    • With respect to increasing enrollment, retention and graduation rates, we have made major advances in each of those areas through significant changes in how we recruit and retain students, provide financial and academic support to them so they can enroll and be successful, and receive employment and attend graduate and professional school at high rates. In 2011, we had a first-year class of 465. Over the last several years, our freshmen classes have averaged around 525 students. In a few weeks, we are anticipating a first-year class of more than 570 students, the largest class in 12 years. These enrollment increases are the result of many innovations and changes made by the Admissions office over the last eight years, as well as specific programs we designed to attract more students, such as: the establishment of the University of Detroit Mercy Catholic Education Grant in 2014; the 2016 rebranding campaign: Build a Boundless Future; the 2017 Assure Your Boundless Future Tuition Reset when we reset undergraduate tuition from $41,000 to $28,000; the 2019 Graduate Tuition Reset in Business, Engineering, Architecture and Nursing; and several first-ever institutional federal grants, including the Strengthening Institutions Program, Student Support Services, Upward Bound, The Science and Engineering Equity Development (SEED) program, ReBUILD Detroit and many others that have increased enrollment in numerous academic fields.

    In summer 2011, the university’s endowment was a modest $25.9 million. Planning for a feasibility study and a major campaign began immediately. Despite an external analysis and recommendation that the university could achieve a campaign goal between $40 and $60 million, a $100 million goal was set and achieved one year early in December 2019. At the conclusion of this Build a Boundless Future: The Campaign for University of Detroit Mercy, the final amount raised was $114.6 million – the highest in the university’s history. Many of our alumni responded overwhelmingly to the campaign with more than three-fourths of the gifts coming from alumni, including more than 33 gifts of $1 million or more. Today’s endowment is nearly $94 million – a 360% increase since 2011. Because of the generosity of alumni and the current bridge campaign, an endowment of $100 million is achievable and not far away.

    With regard to the goal of “expanding the University’s engagement and partnerships with the community,” Detroit Mercy’s service and relationships with the community have increased and expanded through every one of the seven academic schools and colleges’ multitude of clinics and service-based efforts by its students, faculty, staff and alumni. Moreover, our students have also created programs that assist children, youth and adults in the surrounding neighborhood. And our 27-year old Detroit Collaborative Design Center in the School of Architecture + Community Development continues to make significant contributions to neighborhoods across the city and the country. As our most recent annual economic and community impact document indicates 2021 Economic Impact Brochure, Detroit Mercy’s collaborations and specific initiatives are numerous. Of particular personal interest is the co-founding of Live6 Alliance with The Kresge Foundation in 2015. The Kresge Foundation and I held dozens of meetings and discussions over the preceding four years, including during the city’s bankruptcy, before we co-founded this vibrant economic development organization that has become a major neighborhood advocate and resource for residents and businesses in the McNichols Livernois corridor. Live6 is now a 501c3 organization that continues to receive financial and in-kind support from Detroit Mercy and I serve as its board chair.

    As a Catholic, Jesuit and Mercy University sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and the Society of Jesus, our mission and identity have been amplified on campus by our dual offices of University Ministry and Mission Integration through numerous programs focused on spirituality, discernment and service. Additionally, those offices’ collaborations locally and nationally with the Conference of Mercy Higher Education and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities have become models for our combined 44 sister-schools.

    Over the last decade, our campus infrastructure has also grown tremendously, with a new 40,000 square foot Fitness Center in September 2012, the April 2017 addition to the College of Health Professions, major renovations to the School of Dentistry and School of Law and acquisition of a new 40,000 square foot campus in Novi in 2020. In February 2020, we announced our decision to make a $55 million investment to the McNichols Campus facilities that include major renovations and the expansion of the 66-year old Student Union; demolitions of aging buildings; upgrades to academic buildings, administrative space and residence halls; additional on-campus student apartments and green space; a Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning and other projects. Those critical infrastructure projects will assist in attracting and retaining more students while also making our facilities more efficient and effective.

    Finally, Detroit Mercy continues to be honored with high rankings by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” 2021 edition. Last year the University ranked No. 187 among the top 200 national universities in this newly designated category. Only three other Michigan universities earned a place among the 2020 group. Additionally, Detroit Mercy received favorable recognition in the special categories of:

    • Best Value Schools, National Universities – No. 34
    • Best School for Veterans, National Universities – No. 136
    • Top Performers on Social Mobility – No. 129
    • A+ Schools for B Students

    And Detroit Mercy again ranked among the top 20% of all universities nationwide in The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) college rankings. The WSJ/THE ranked Detroit Mercy No. 180 out of almost 1,000 schools in the United States in 2021. The University has been ranked high since the inaugural release in 2017.

    We have accomplished the preceding achievements together over the past decade because of your dedication and cooperative spirit. That characteristic Detroit Mercy ethos has been best demonstrated during these last 18 months as we confronted the COVID-19 pandemic. It speaks volumes about who you and we are as a group. Titans Together is an appropriate motto for us during these times. We have much more work and many goals to accomplish this year, and I am counting on your cooperation and assistance. Thank you for your individual and collective contributions that have elevated Detroit Mercy to a great institution!


    Antoine M. Garibaldi


Search Partner: Isaacson, Miller

Isaacson, Miller is a national executive search firm devoted to recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations. The firm has grown steadily, and today, Isaacson, Miller stands alone as a large, national, retained search firm dedicated to the full range of public and civic missions. We have active practices in higher education, healthcare, conservation and environment, advocacy, arts and culture, foundations, preK-12 education and education improvement, human services, social justice, and other endeavors that advance the public good.

Many of our clients and past candidates become part of an extended network and share our goal of strengthening civic infrastructure. They see their own missions reflected in the work of the firm and choose to assist us, generously, in our quest for the finest talent in their fields. In 2019 83% of our searches were for returning clients.

We believe that civic organizations are essential to a strong civil society, a vigorous democracy, and to a free market economy. Civic institutions educate us all. They encourage the marketplace of ideas through research, teaching, and advocacy. They inspire innovation, and, through foundations and philanthropy, they arouse the charitable endeavors of private citizens. The civic sector serves as the guardian of our economic and societal strength. We have made its success our business.

sacred heart square

I am blessed to have had the influences of alumni from the University of Detroit as well as the University of Detroit Mercy throughout my life. My grandfather, father, uncles, and now my older brother have all graduated from this University. Each one of them has impacted my life profoundly, and this University has impacted each one of them, making them the men and the leaders they are today. And I have been blessed to learn and grow, and to help serve each other and the community of Detroit.

—  Elizabeth Yager '19