St. John’s University Names Conrado M. Gempesaw, Ph.D. 17th President

Conrado M. Gempesaw, Ph.D.

It is our great pleasure to announce that the Board of Trustees has elected Conrado M. Gempesaw, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as the 17th President of St. John’s University effective July 1, 2014. Dr. Gempesaw will succeed Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., who will be stepping down as planned at the conclusion of this academic year. 

Dr. Gempesaw is an accomplished scholar, teacher, and administrator who comes to St. John’s with almost three decades of academic experience. At Miami University, he led the institution’s comprehensive strategic planning efforts and introduced new enrollment management strategies based on capacity planning that increased the school’s applicant pool and improved student diversity. Miami University comprises six colleges and more than 22,000 students and 1,000 faculty members. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Miami third nationally for its exceptionally strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, 31st among national public universities, and 75th overall.

In Dr. Gempesaw, we have found a visionary leader who understands and embraces St. John’s mission as a Catholic and Vincentian university, and has the skills necessary to realize our goals for the future. We are confident he will help St. John’s continue its remarkable transformation from a commuter school into a global educational institution with enhanced and expanded facilities and new academic initiatives, while maintaining its mission of providing a world-class affordable education.

We would like to extend our deep appreciation to all of you who provided input and feedback throughout this process, and in particular, to the members of the Presidential Search Committee for their hard work in conducting this extensive national search. The 13-member committee represented multiple constituencies, including faculty, students, administrators, alumni, and trustees. As a result of their efforts, we had a final pool of truly exceptional candidates. The search was led by Mr. Bill Funk of R. William Funk and Associates, one of the nation’s leading higher education consulting firms, and Mary Harper HaganSenior Vice President for Human Resources and Strategic Planning, St. John’s University, whose professionalism ensured that the search process remained focused and on track.

As Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University, Dr. Gempesaw led the development of new academic initiatives to enhance retention and graduation rates, increase international enrollment and global partnerships, establish student learning outcomes assessment practices, and create e-learning niche programs and market strategies.

Before joining Miami University, Dr. Gempesaw held several positions at the University of Delaware. As Dean of the Lerner College of Business and Economics, he was responsible for the University’s second largest college with five academic departments, 3,500 students, and 120 faculty members, as well as the university-wide Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. Prior to that, he served as the University’s interim Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, with more than 8,000 students, 24 academic departments, and 600 faculty members. His other positions at the University of Delaware included Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning; Acting Associate Provost for International Programs and Special Sessions; Chairperson of the Department of Food and Resource Economics; and Acting Director, Operations Research Program. He also chaired the NCAA compliance effort at the University of Delaware. In 2000 and 2005, he co-chaired UD’s Middle States Commission on Higher Education Steering Committee for Accreditation. He also co-chaired UD’s NCAA Certification Self-Study Committee in 2002.

Dr. Gempesaw has also held faculty positions as a professor in the Department of Economics at Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, and professor in the Department of Economics and Department of Food and Resource Economics at the University of Delaware.

Dr. Gempesaw received his Ph.D. in agricultural economics from The Pennsylvania State University; a Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from West Virginia University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Ateneo de Davao University in the Philippines. He has published more than 100 papers in various academic journals on financial simulation analysis and modeling, higher education administration, agribusiness economics, and marketing and international trade.

Dr. Gempesaw and his wife, Clavel Albay Gempesaw, are members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oxford, Ohio. In Delaware, Dr. Gempesaw served on the St. Thomas More Oratory Advisory Council and the Diocese of Wilmington Catholic Youth Ministry’s (CYM) Athletic Committee, and was a CYM basketball referee. Clavel Albay Gempesaw earned her master’s degree and Ph.D. in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware. They have two sons, Daniel, who earned Bachelor of Science degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science degree from Georgia Tech, and David, who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and finance from the University of Delaware and is currently a graduate student at Miami University.

Beginning today and over the coming months, many of you will have the opportunity to meet Dr. Gempesaw during his visits to St. John’s before he officially joins the University. Additionally, there will be ample time to express our gratitude to Fr. Levesque for his service, and we will keep you apprised of those plans. We look forward to a seamless transition to St. John’s new leadership and an outstanding future for our beloved University. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Gempesaw and his family to the St. John’s community.