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Announcing SLU's Vice President and General Counsel

September 17, 2021

To Members of the Saint Louis University Community:

I write today to announce SLU’s next Vice President and General Counsel.

The exhaustive internal search, led by a diverse committee of faculty, staff, and trustees, brought forward three impressive candidates. After careful review of the search committee’s summary letter, the results of campus surveys, and my own interviews with each candidate, I have offered the position to Danielle Uy. I am pleased to report that she has accepted.

Danielle joined SLU as the University’s associate general counsel in 2008 and was promoted to senior associate general counsel in 2013. Known to most of us for her past work across a variety of divisions within the University, she received high marks by the search committee and the campus community.

Those who completed candidate surveys commented on the depth of her experience and expertise; the tremendous regard she has from the SLU community; her professionalism and eagerness to collaborate; her strong work ethic, commitment to our Jesuit mission, and solutions-oriented approach to the work. Danielle was described as thoughtful, knowledgeable, collaborative, measured, responsive, incisive, and prudent.

In addition, numerous University community members who attended the public interview sessions or have worked closely with her, communicated to me their strong support for Danielle. University Community members spoke of the trust Danielle has forged over the years with faculty, staff and students — a trust embedded in her genuine fairness and decency, and the dignity with which she treats all parties. They also praised Danielle’s understanding and respect for shared governance, and her purposeful inclusion of students, faculty and staff leaders.

“It’s critical to balance good lawyering and zealous advocacy with empathy and care for the whole person,” Danielle has observed. And clearly, our University Community has witnessed and valued that approach from Danielle.

Danielle succeeds Bill Kauffman, our longest-serving senior leader. Since 1995, Bill has served the University with distinction as the University’s Vice President and General Counsel and Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Among the many roles Bill has filled during his tenure was that of Interim President from September 2013 through June of 2014.

Bill will continue to work part-time as Senior Legal Counsel and Secretary of the University for fiscal year 2021-2022. He has also agreed to continue working on a project to enhance our partnership with SSM Health. In both of these roles, Bill will report directly to me. I know that I speak for all of us in expressing gratitude for Bill’s selfless dedication and continued leadership.

I also wish to voice my appreciation to CFO David Heimburger and the members of the search committee. A search of this importance required significant time, energy, flexibility, and attention. Doing so during a pandemic is worthy of special recognition.

Finally, I offer my thanks to all who contributed to ensuring a successful search and to the talented candidates who presented their best professional selves in this search process.

Danielle assumes her new responsibilities on October 1. Please join me in congratulating her as she extends her role as trusted advisor to leaders across the University and to me.


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.