COLLEGEVILLE  (AP) — For the first time, the pool of candidates to become the next president of the St. John's University in Collegeville may include someone who isn't a member of the monastery there.

The university recently hired a search firm to find the successor for the Rev. Robert Koopmann, who is retiring.

The university hopes to select the new president by March and have that person start next summer. To do that, the university has hired Academic Search Inc. to assist in the search.

Abbot John Klassen says it's an open search, but there's still a preference for Benedictine monks. He says the university bylaws won't need to change to permit someone outside the monastery to become president.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.