The Presidential Search Committee at the University of Portland has announced the two finalists for the presidency of the University. They are Rev. James M. Lies, C.S.C., vice president for mission at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts; and Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., executive vice president of the University of Portland.
The candidates are seeking to succeed University president Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., who announced in September that he is stepping down as president at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Beauchamp was appointed the University's 19th president in November, 2003.
"The University of Portland has been extremely fortunate over the last decade to be led so capably by Fr. Beauchamp," said Thomas D. Arndorfer, a member of the University's Board of Regents and chair of the Presidential Search Committee that consists of 14 members of the UP community. "I speak on behalf of the Presidential Search Committee and my fellow regents when I say that we are equally blessed to have two outstanding candidates who are well qualified to build upon the foundation laid by Fr. Beauchamp and his predecessors, guiding the University forward while remaining true to our mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership."
Fr. Lies is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Stonehill College. He previously served at the University of Portland from 2006 through 2012 as an associate professor in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences and as executive director of the Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life & American Culture from 2009 through 2012. A graduate of the University of Saint Thomas, he received a master's degree from the University of Notre Dame and his master of divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Fr. Poorman has held his current position at University of Portland since 2011 as well as serving as a professor of theology and the pastoral resident of Schoenfeldt Hall. Prior to arriving on The Bluff, he served as vice president for Student Affairs at the University of Notre Dame from 1999 through 2010. Fr. Poorman is a graduate of the University of Illinois, received his master of divinity from the University of Notre Dame, and earned his Ph.D. in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California.
The finalists will be on campus Jan. 14 and 15 for interviews. The Presidential Search Committee has asked the two candidates to meet with numerous constituencies of the University during these two days. The committee will then provide a recommendation to the Board of Regents, who will meet to elect the next president of the University of Portland on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Shortly after this election has been completed, an announcement will be made to the University of Portland community.
"Over the next several weeks, we hope that this will be a collaborative, cross-functional, and comprehensive process that allows us to identify the individual best suited to lead the University of Portland in the years ahead," Arndorfer said.