As the letter notes, the University's Board of Trustees will soon be outlining the search process that will be used to identify and select the next president. Those of us who, like me, remember the last presidential search will realize that this process could be complicated if the question of the next Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis remains unresolved. For, unlike the University of Saint Thomas, the Archbishop still has a seat on the Board of Trustees of Saint Catherine, and, unless I am mistaken, maintains some reserved powers.
[The University of Saint Catherine has clarified that the Archbishop no longer is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees and does not have reserved powers.]
This became an issue during the last presidential search when the position was offered to a Catholic lay woman who had divorced without seeking a declaration of nullity for her first marriage, and who was subsequently forced to withdraw her application in the face of a veto threat by then-Archbishop Harry Flynn. Hopefully the upcoming search process will run more smoothly but, in the absence of a permanent replacement for Archbishop Nienstedt, the University may find itself having to guess at what, if any, possible objections might arise.