A message from David Rathburn, chair of the Board of Trustees
May 16, 2014
Dear members of the Grove City College family,
The Grove City College Board of Trustees elected the Honorable Paul J. McNulty ’80 as its ninth president today. McNulty, a former U.S. Deputy Attorney General under President George W. Bush and partner in the law firm Baker & McKenzie, graduated from the College with a degree in history.
McNulty was selected after an extensive nationwide search. National recruiting firm CarterBaldwin, represented ably by Price Harding, supported the 11-member Presidential Search Committee, consisting of members of the faculty, administration and Board of Trustees. The committee considered nearly 80 applications from qualified individuals across the nation, including several sitting college presidents.
“Paul McNulty has the best skill set and experience to be the most effective President of all the qualified people we considered,” Committee member Dr. James G. Dixon III, a 38-year member of the faculty and chair of the English department, said.
Dr. Michelle (Young ’83) Clauss, committee member and professor of mechanical engineering, noted McNulty “showed the best understanding of the differences between the liberal arts and the STEM schools. He also has the desire to engage with faculty to understand how to support them well.”
McNulty said “My goal as President is to build on a strong foundation of faith, stewardship and academic excellence by serving and leading an outstanding team of professionals and an extraordinary group of students. Grove City College is in an ideal position to face the significant future challenges in higher education. Together, by God’s grace, we will be a clearer voice in the world, and our graduates will continue to be transformational leaders as they faithfully pursue their callings to integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives.”
McNulty comes to Grove City College after nearly seven years as a partner in the global law firm of Baker & McKenzie, where he chairs the firm’s Global Corporate Compliance Steering Committee and the North American Compliance and Investigations Practice Group. He is widely recognized as a leading expert on business ethics, corporate governance and regulatory risk management. The National Law Journal recently named him one of the top 50 “Trailblazers and Pioneers in Corporate Governance and Compliance,” and in 2012 recognized him with its “Visionary Award for Innovations in the Corporate Compliance Practice.”
Prior to joining Baker & McKenzie in 2007, McNulty spent over two decades in public service, primarily as a leader in U.S. law enforcement. As the U.S. Deputy Attorney General, McNulty was the second highest-ranking official in the Justice department and responsible for leading more than 100,000 employees. Previously he served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was sworn in three days after the Sept. 11 attacks and was successfully entrusted with the nation’s highest profile terrorist prosecutions.
As a senior lawyer on Capitol Hill, McNulty was the Director of Legislative Operations for the Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives and Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime. He began his legal career in 1983 as counsel for the House Ethics Committee.
Dawn (Jurewicz ’90) Owens, a Trustee and a committee member, said McNulty understands the College’s mission and has the experience, skills and temperament to lead it into the future.
“Grove City College is truly unique in the world of higher education. Paul has the vision and leadership to see that this treasure we call Grove City College is a strong and respected voice for individual liberty, free market principles and faith in Christ. Paul is incredibly accomplished in both the public and private sector; yet he is humble - eager to listen, learn and serve. His leadership will be both refreshing and inspiring,” Owens said.
David Rathburn ’79, Chair of the Board and the Search Committee, said McNulty has been a leader everywhere he has served.
“He was a vice-president of the SGA here on campus more than 30 years ago. Since he left, he has managed complex organizations and done it well, without ever losing focus on the foundational principles that he solidified here at Grove City. Paul’s leadership in founding Faith and Law, a Christian study group for men and women working on Capitol Hill, working with both Republicans and Democrats while an attorney serving the House of Representatives and his service as an elder in the Presbyterian Church were just a few of the many reasons the committee unanimously recommended him to the Board,” Rathburn said.
Phil Suse, North American Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie, said McNulty will be missed.
“We are extremely happy for Paul and Brenda as they prepare to return to their alma mater, and for Paul as he assumes this prestigious position. Paul’s transformative leadership and tireless efforts over the past seven years at Baker & McKenzie have resulted in the development of a premier compliance and investigations practice. While we will greatly miss his presence at the firm, a central component of his legacy has been the building of a strong team of former prosecutors and compliance experts who will now step up and lead this flourishing practice. The firm looks forward to an ongoing relationship with Paul as he continues to be a global leader in corporate governance and compliance,” Suse said.
McNulty and his wife Brenda (Millican ’80) have been married for 33 years. They have three daughters, Katy (McNulty ’07) Hittinger, Anni, a 2011 graduate of the University of South Carolina who is getting married on May 31, and Corrie ’14, who is graduating Saturday. Their son Joseph died in 2012 at the age of 26. During his nearly two-year battle with cancer, Joe inspired others with his unwavering faith, unfailing kindness and amazing determination that kept him pursuing his calling as a law student up to just days before his death.
The McNultys will be the second alumni couple to serve as President and First Lady of the College. J. Stanley Harker ’25 and his wife Helen (Calderwood ’23) Harker were the first from 1956 to 1971.
McNulty, a member of the College’s Board of Trustees since 2004, was the recipient of the Jack Kennedy Memorial Alumni Achievement Award in 1998 and spoke at commencement in 2007. During his student days, he was a member of Phi Tau Alpha fraternity, served as a resident assistant and was a chapel aide.
The Presidential Search Committee deserves much credit and thanks for their diligence and hard work throughout the process, Rathburn said. This is the first time that representatives from the faculty and administration joined members of the Board of Trustees in a presidential search.
Clauss and Dixon represented faculty on the committee. Dean of the Chapel F. Stanley Keehlwetter and Betty L. Tallerico, assistant to the President, represented administration. Trustees on the committee were: Rathburn, Owens, Jack Kopnisky ’78, David Lascell, David Porter ’88, William C. Stewart ’61 and Charlotte A. Zuschlag ’73.
President-elect McNulty and Mrs. McNulty will be moving from Fairfax Station, Va., to campus in August. Please join us in welcoming them to this wonderful opportunity.
Yours for Grove City College,
David R. Rathburn, '79
Please click the links below for email correspondence related to the Presidential Search.