|Lawrence Biondi, S.J..|
ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis University Board of Trustees Chairman J. Joe Adorjan announced today that SLU President Lawrence Biondi, S.J., has decided to retire from his position effective Sept. 1. He will be named President Emeritus and will take a one-year sabbatical from the University. This follows Biondi's announcement in May of his intention to retire as president.
"Father Biondi has let me know of his desire to make a change and tohelp us transition to interim leadership as we begin the search for the next president of SLU this fall," Adorjan said. "I have the greatest respect and admiration for Father Biondi and for all that he has done for SLU, and I am hopeful that as we soon begin the search for his successor that he can continue to provide his knowledge and insight to the Board. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Father for giving so much of himself to make SLU the outstanding and respected institution it is."
"Over the summer I decided that the time is right for me to retire," Biondi said. "While I will miss the mission, work and activity of the University, I am also looking forward to new challenges that lie ahead for me. I leave SLU in a very strong position, and I look forward to continuing to provide input to the Board as it searches for my permanent successor."
Adorjan announced to the SLU community that SLU Vice President and General Counsel William Kauffman, J.D., has been named interim president, and has agreed to serve for the coming academic year, but will not be a candidate for the presidency. Kauffman has been SLU's general counsel since 1995 and also serves as secretary to the Board of Trustees. SLU's longest serving vice president, Kauffman received his bachelor's degree from Gettysburg College and his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
|William Kauffman, J.D.|
"Bill Kauffman is a leader, has great institutional knowledge and is respected by the Board and his fellow vice presidents and administrators," Adorjan said. "Bill didn't ask for this position, but has agreed to serve for the coming year because of his love for SLU. I am confident he will be an effective and collaborative interim president."
"I am honored to have been appointed as interim president, and my top priority will be to put SLU in as strong a position as possible for our next president," Kauffman said. "I am committed to working with stakeholders inside and outside of the University to keep us moving in a very positive direction."
To support Kauffman as interim president, the Board of Trustees has established the Office of the Chairman, which will be staffed with five key senior administrators who will work closely with Kauffman during the next year. Dr. Ellen Harshman, Vice President for Academic Affairs; Dr. Philip Alderson, Vice President for Medical Affairs; David Heimburger, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Bridget Fletcher, Vice President for Administration; and Dr. Kent Porterfield, Vice President for Student Development, will be members of the Office of the Chairman.
Adorjan said the Board has confidence in the University's vice presidents, deans and SLUCare management to manage operations in their areas in collaboration with the interim president and the new Office of the Chairman.
In a message to the SLU community earlier this week, Adorjan said he intends to have all of the processes in place so that the search for the next president can begin immediately after the September 28, 2013, meeting of the Board of Trustees. That includes the naming of a search committee that will include trustees and representatives of SLU faculty, staff and students.
Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit institution that values academic excellence, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. Founded in 1818, the University fosters the intellectual and character development of nearly 14,000 students on two campuses in St. Louis and Madrid, Spain. Building on a legacy of nearly 200 years, Saint Louis University continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to a higher purpose, a greater good.