Office of the President

To the St. John’s University Community, 

As I begin my second year as President, I would like to highlight the importance of our strategic priorities in guiding the direction of our University in the years to come. During my investiture in October 2014, I announced the formation of the Strategic Priorities Working Group (SPWG). This group was tasked with formulating action plans to implement the strategic priorities that emanated from my extensive listening sessions with various University constituents during this past year.

These strategic priorities are as follows:

  1. Ensure student success
  2. Recruit, recognize, and retain the best faculty, staff, and administrators
  3. Enhance our teaching and learning environment
  4. Expand global and community partnerships

With University-wide representation, SPWG has developed detailed action plans based on these four strategic priorities. Each academic and administrative unit in the university will then define specific programs or initiatives that they can implement in support of our strategic priorities.

Historically, St. John’s mission has been to provide excellent education for all, especially for those lacking economic or social advantages. However, it is not enough that we provide access to education. We must also ensure student success starting from their first steps on campus as freshmen until their graduation, by providing outstanding academic programs, mentoring and advising, student support services, and career placement programs.

In view of St. John’s mission as a Catholic and Vincentian University committed to providing students with affordable education, we have made it a priority to alleviate the significant financial challenges facing our students and their families by not increasing tuition and fees this year (with the exception of  our School of Law, which has its own tuition structure). We hope this will make it possible for new students to attend St. John’s and help current students to complete their college education.

It was a great privilege and pleasure for me to preside over my first St. John’s University commencement exercises this past May and June 2015, when we celebrated the graduation of more than 3,000 students in Queens, Staten Island, and Rome, Italy, who will now join the ranks of the 174,000 strong alumni of our University.

In the past year, I have met over 1,000 of our alumni and friends. I am inspired by their love and support for St. John’s University. Their generosity makes it possible for our students to achieve their educational aspirations and follow St. Vincent de Paul’s example of serving those in need.

Clavel and I would like to thank the students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, and friends of St. John’s University for your prayers and support. I look forward to working with all of you as we start a new academic year!


Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D.