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April 29, 2013

St. Francis begins search for next president

— A presidential search committee, consisting of select members of the St. Francis University board of trustees and members of the university community, has begun reviewing candidates for the next president of the university.

The search committee will be interviewing candidates identified by the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Initial interviews with candidates are scheduled on Thursday and Friday, followed by interviews with the full board of trustees on June 19-20.

The current president, the Rev. Gabriel Zeis, TOR, 75, will conclude his tenure June 30, with the end of the 2012-13 academic year. He announced in February that he would be stepping down.

When Zeis took the helm as president of his alma mater in 2004, he did so with a strong vision of where he could lead the university within the next decade. Now, nine years later, that vision has solidified into a series of institutional accomplishments that will allow him to confidently transition the leadership role to a new president.

The next president will be chosen from among the priests and brothers of the 139-member province.

Inaugurated in 2004, Zeis succeeded the Rev. Christian Oravec, TOR.

During his tenure as president, Zeis has overseen a period of strategic growth that has resulted in dramatic increases in both enrollment numbers and endowment value.

From 2005 to 2011, the university’s total enrollment increased from 2,022 to approximately 2,440 students. In roughly that same period, the market value of the university’s endowment assets rose from $17.5 million to $37.4 million.

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