Dear Fellow Trustees:
Please accept this letter as my notification to you that I will
retire from my position as President of St. John’s University
effective July 31, 2013. I will inform the university community
this afternoon of my decision. That announcement is attached.
As many of you know, for some time I have been contemplating the
best way to manage this transition, both for me and the University.
After almost three decades as a university president (first at
Niagara and then at St. John’s), I have been blessed with a
wonderful career that has allowed me to make a real difference in
Catholic education. Some members of the board have over the last
few years encouraged me to extend my tenure and I concluded it was
reasonable and useful for me to do so. So it has been a gradual
process of reflection and prayer to make this decision.
Now, two factors have convinced me that the time is right.
First, we have accomplished so much of the ambitious and inspired
vision that we have long shared for this institution. Over the last
24 years, St. John’s has been transformed and stands today a truly
world-class global university. Second, the difficulties for
everyone during the past year have convinced me, after much prayer
and reflection, that the time to leave the Presidency has now come.
As I step aside, I am deeply satisfied that I leave behind a strong
foundation upon which a new generation of leadership will
The current members of this board, and those who preceded you
over the past 24 years, have been an incredible source of advice
and guidance for me as St. John’s president. You have helped ensure
that our institution remained on track and focused on its mission
of service and academic excellence -- educating, enlightening and
spreading the benefits of knowledge and values-based learning to an
ever-expanding universe of students.
Thank you for your generous support and wise counsel. I cherish
many of the relationships I have had with members of the board and
am proud to call many of you friends. I wish you well as you
undertake your search for new leadership to take the University
forward. If I can help in any way, I stand ready to do so.