William R. Kauffman, J.D., became interim president of Saint Louis University on Sept. 2, 2013, succeeding Lawrence Biondi, S.J., who retired after 26 years of service.
Prior to being appointed interim president, Kauffman was the University's vice president, general counsel and secretary to the Board of Trustees for 18 years, making him the longest-serving serving executive leader in recent memory. For nearly two decades, Kauffman oversaw all legal services for the University. His work has touched nearly every aspect of the institution, including academics, research, student affairs, athletics and SLU's large physician practice.
As the University's chief legal officer, Kauffman was also responsible for ensuring SLU's compliance with local, state and federal laws, government regulations and internal policies. He also led the University's governmental relations efforts, including outreach to and interaction with state and federal elected officials.
During his tenure at SLU, he also has overseen a number of other key areas, including diversity and affirmative action, public safety, emergency preparedness, human resources, internal audit and risk management.
In an accomplished career that has spanned more than 40 years, Kauffman also served as the vice president and general counsel of the University of Alaska Statewide System of Higher Education, general counsel for the Kansas Board of Regents, assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education, and director of employee relations for Shippensburg State University of Pennsylvania.
Kauffman is a recognized leader in higher education legal affairs. He has served as the president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), and in 2004, the organization honored his many contributions with a Distinguished Service Award. He is also a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel.
Throughout the years, Kauffman also has served as a consultant, focusing primarily on nonprofit governance, corporate compliance and employment practices. He also has made dozens of presentations around the country, including serving as a speaker, respondent and moderator at NACUA's annual conferences.
A native of Pennsylvania, Kauffman earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1972 and his bachelor's degree in business administration from Gettysburg College in 1969.