University Thanks Kauffman for His Efforts to Move SLU Forward
|William R. Kauffman, interim president, speaks during the 2014 spring commencement May 17. File photo
Today marks the end of William R. Kauffman's tenure as the interim president of Saint Louis University. The longtime SLU administrator was appointed to the role by the University's Board of Trustees, following the Sept. 1, 2013, retirement of President Emeritus Lawrence Biondi, S.J.
In his final communication to the SLU community as interim president, Kauffman thanked faculty, staff and students for their support, adding that he feels "a renewed spirit of collaboration, collegiality and a commitment to [the University's] mission."
President-Elect Fred Pestello, Ph.D. — who officially takes office tomorrow — thanked Kauffman for his leadership during this year of transition.
"From everything I have heard and I have witnessed, Bill had a very successful year at the helm of the University, and I am going to enjoy working with him as we move forward," Pestello said. "He has a deep knowledge of this institution, and he is an enthusiastic supporter of this University and its mission."
As interim president, Kauffman made it a priority to meet with numerous stakeholders across the University, regularly attending meetings of the Faculty Senate, Staff Advisory Committee and Student Government Association, among others. He also focused on enhancing communication at all levels.
"Bill took a team approach to addressing issues at the University," said Jane Turner, M.D., president of the Faculty Senate and an associate professor of pathology. "Many faculty across the University have expressed to me — and I feel the same — that we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Bill for stepping in when he did."
Kathy Barbeau, the chair of the Staff Advisory Committee and business manager in the Dean's Office of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, echoed Turner's sentiments.
"It was a real pleasure working with Bill," Barbeau said. "He was very encouraging and very open to ideas. I think he had a very calming effect on the whole community during this year of transition."
Fundraising was another focus for Kauffman, who traveled around the country meeting with alumni and benefactors. SLU's matching gift program, "Go Further," has raised more than $3.7 million for student scholarships since July 2013.
"Bill has been a wonderful partner to development," said Sheila Manion, associate vice president for development. "His passion for the University and his extensive knowledge of all things SLU have helped in our fundraising efforts."
Prior to being appointed interim president, Kauffman served as SLU's vice president and general counsel for 18 years. With a career in higher education that spans four decades, Kauffman is a recognized leader in higher education legal affairs and has been honored nationally for his work and service.