Saint Vincent to Begin Selection Process for 18th President

by Public Relations | Apr 10, 2019

Br. Norman HippsLATROBE, Pennsylvania – In the fall semester of the 2019-20 academic year, Saint Vincent College will welcome its 18th president. In a recent letter to Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, O.S.B., chancellor of Saint Vincent College, and J. Christopher Donahue, chairman of the Board of Directors, President Br. Norman Hipps, O.S.B., observed that with his reaching his 75th birthday and a major capital campaign coming to a successful completion during the current academic year, it seems like the right moment to build upon on the success we have achieved with the leadership of a new president.

Board Chairman Chris Donahue thanked Br. Norman for his service and praised his contributions in advancing the mission and reputation of the College during his tenure. “What has impressed me about Br. Norman’s presidency is that it has never been about enhancing himself, but always about putting the success of our students first,” he said.

The Archabbot/Chancellor thanked Br. Norman for his nine years of service as president and named a number of accomplishments that the College achieved during his presidency.

  • Enhancement of the mission and increased national recognition of Saint Vincent College as a Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts and sciences institution of higher education.
  • Completion of the James F. Will Engineering and Biomedical Sciences Hall, an extension of the Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion, which provides opportunities for new degree programs in engineering and integrated science.
  • Introduction of new programs including Benedictine Leadership Studies; undergraduate majors in engineering; integrated science; criminology, law and society; philosophy/politics and philosophy/theology; graduate programs in criminology, instructional design and technology, and counselor education as well as a doctorate in nurse anesthesia practice.
  • Establishment of a program for students to earn a BSN in nursing through a partnership with Carlow University in Pittsburgh.
  • Greater diversity of students: racially, geographically, first-generation and underserved populations. In the fall 2018 semester, 14 percent of students were from racial and ethnic minorities and 38 percent were first-generation college students.
  • Establishment of the Projektenmacher Award, named for our founder, Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, and given to honor a member of the Saint Vincent community who creatively and with hard work advances the mission of the College.
  • Major expansion of the Dale P. Latimer Library to strengthen the integration of the arts and technology, including the significant expansion of the campus art galleries to display the well-known art collections of the Archabbey and College.
  • Growth in the College’s endowment to more than $100 million for student scholarship aid and for faculty development.
  • Expansion of the collaborative efforts between Saint Vincent College and other educational institutions, including the 2018 agreement between the Zaentz Initiative at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and the Fred Rogers Center’s “Simple Interactions” program to provide support to schools in a growing number of states.

The Archabbot concluded his letter of gratitude to Br. Norman with a prayer of Dag Hammarskjold: “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes!” He noted, “You have been a special blessing in my life for more than 50 years – as a Benedictine confrere, co-worker and trustworthy, loyal friend.”

In order to provide a smooth transition in the governance of Saint Vincent College, an Ad Hoc Committee on the Presidency, has been appointed by the chairman of the Board of Directors, J. Christopher Donahue, and the Chancellor, Archabbot Douglas Nowicki, as the first step in the search process. The Ad Hoc Committee includes representatives of the Board of Directors, faculty, administration, student government and alumni. The Ad Hoc Committee has been given two charges: 1) identifying the challenges and opportunities presented to the College by the changing demographics, increased cost structures and changing information technologies in the competitive environment of higher education and 2) to outline the qualifications needed in a new president.

In accord with Saint Vincent College’s policy as outlined in the Faculty Handbook, the Archabbot/Chancellor will review the report of the Ad Hoc Committee to determine if there is a Benedictine candidate for the Office of President to propose to the Board of Directors for approval.

The next president of Saint Vincent College will work in close collaboration with the faculty, the Board of Directors, the Chancellor, the administrative staff and students in order to continue a climate of academic excellence and advance the mission of Saint Vincent College.

The College expects that a new president will be in place at the beginning of July 2019.



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