Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D. Appointed to NCAA Division I Presidential Forum

Produced by: Red Storm Sports

St. Johns Flag
August 30, 2019

St. John’s University President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D. has been appointed to serve as the BIG EAST’s representative on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum. In addition, Gempesaw was named to the Presidential Forum Steering Committee. His three-year term will begin on September 1, 2019.

The NCAA Division I Presidential Forum, which serves as the primary presidential advisory body for the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, consists of presidents and chancellors representing each of the 32 Division I conferences. The Presidential Forum is responsible for providing counsel on important issues, challenges and opportunities facing intercollegiate athletics, while ensuring NCAA core values involving presidential leadership at the campus, conference and national level are achieved.

“It is a privilege to represent St. John’s and the BIG EAST Conference on the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum,” said Gempesaw.

“I look forward to collaborating with dedicated leaders from institutions across the country to enhance the experiences of student-athletes and preserve the fundamental values of intercollegiate sport.”

“We are excited that Dr. Gempesaw has been selected to represent the BIG EAST on a national level,” said Director of Athletics Mike Cragg. “Since my arrival at St. John’s, I have been impressed with Dr. Gempesaw’s leadership and sound judgment. It is very clear to me that he has a passion for athletics and a deep concern for the well being of our students.”

Gempesaw, the 17th president in University history and the first lay person to hold the title, has served in that role since July 2014. Since his arrival at St. John’s, Gempesaw has instituted a comprehensive University-wide engagement process to establish and implement the Strategic Priorities Action Plan, which reflects a commitment to shared ownership and shared responsibility to promote academic excellence and advance the Vincentian mission of the University. 

In addition to his appointment to the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum, Gempesaw has served in leadership roles on the BIG EAST Conference Board of Directors and the BIG EAST Audit and Finance Committee. He recently completed a three-year term as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York and served as Chair of the Audit and Compensation Committee.

“We’re very grateful that President Gempesaw has agreed to serve as the BIG EAST’s representative to the Presidential Forum, one of the NCAA’s most prestigious committees,” said BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Val Ackerman. “We know that Bobby’s deep knowledge base and broad experiences in higher education will be of tremendous value to this body as it addresses the significant opportunities and challenges facing intercollegiate athletics today.” 

Gempesaw, who holds a Ph.D in agricultural economics from Penn State, has more than 30 years of academic and administrative leadership experience in higher education. Prior to his appointment at St. John’s University, he served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he served as Dean of the University of Delaware’s Lerner College of Business and Economics and Vice Provost for Academic and International Programs.