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St. John’s University Names Conrado M. Gempesaw 17th President After National Search

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The St. John’s University Board of Trustees has named Conrado M. Gempesaw, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, as St. John’s 17th President. Dr. Gempesaw will succeed Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. as president effective July 1, 2014.

An accomplished scholar, teacher and administrator, Dr. Gempesaw 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 is comprised of six colleges and more than 22,000 students and 1,000 faculty members. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Miami third nationally for exceptionally strong commitment to undergraduate teaching, 31st among national public universities, and 75th overall.

The selection follows an extensive national search overseen by a 13-member search committee representing a cross-section of St. John’s University constituencies, including faculty, students, administrators, alumni and trustees.  The search committee was co-chaired by Peter P. D’Angelo, Chair of the St. John’s University Board of Trustees, and the Very Reverend Michael J. Carroll, C.M., Vice Chair.  The search was led by R. William Funk & Associates, one of the nation’s leading higher education consulting firms. 

“Dr. Gempesaw brings an impressive record of academic achievement, administrative excellence, and the ability to inspire students, faculty, alumni and administrators,” said Mr. D’Angelo. “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.”

St. John’s has transformed from a commuter school into a global educational institution by enhancing and expanding its facilities and launching new academic initiatives. The University has campuses in Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Rome, Italy; an academic center in Oakdale, NY; and study abroad locations in Paris, France, and Seville, Spain. It recently leased space for its Manhattan campus at 101 Astor Place, the brand new Edward J. Minskoff building located in the heart of the East Village, home to more than 50,000 college students and an emerging technology hub in New York’s booming Midtown South business district.

St. John’s has an enrollment of approximately 15,800 undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students and is ranked second among America’s universities for ethnic diversity by U.S. News & World Report.  The University employs approximately 1,500 faculty members and has 170,000 living alumni.  Ninety-seven percent of St. John’s undergraduates received more than $470 million in financial assistance through scholarships, loans, grants and work-study programs for the 2012-2013 academic year.  

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen to lead St. John’s University during this transformational time, and grateful for the confidence and support of everyone who participated in the search process,” said Dr. Gempesaw. “With its diverse and accomplished students, exceptional faculty, devoted alumni, dedication to service and commitment to the poor that is grounded in its Catholic and Vincentian history, St. John’s has become one of New York’s most enduring institutions through its mission to provide a world-class affordable education. I look forward to working with St. John’s administration, faculty, staff and alumni in ensuring the success of our students.” 

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, Dr. Gempesaw held several positions at the University of Delaware (UD). 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. 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; Master of Science degree in agricultural economics from West Virginia University; and 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 urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware. They have two sons, Daniel, who earned B.S. degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering from University of Delaware and M.S. degree from Georgia Tech, and David, who earned his B.S. degree in accounting and finance from the University of Delaware and is currently a graduate student at Miami University.