USD Executive Vice President and Provost Julie Sullivan Selected as First Woman and Lay President of a Minnesota Catholic University

University of San Diego President Mary E. Lyons, PhD, announced today that Executive Vice President and Provost Julie Sullivan, PhD, has been named the 15th president of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. Sullivan will resign her USD post on June 30, 2013, after eight years of stellar service.

“Dr. Sullivan’s contributions to the growth and development of our University are abundantly evident,” said Lyons. “We can thank her for guiding us through the great fiscal crisis of 2008 while continuing our commitment to students and investing in our faculty. As our chief academic officer, Julie established the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies and she is currently launching the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering. Under her leadership, USD has significantly increased the number of tenured and tenured-tract faculty on campus, improved the academic profile of our freshman class, and we have become the #1 ranking doctoral serving institution for undergraduates studying abroad.” Lyons added, “Losing a chief administrator of her caliber and a good friend, who has become such an integral part of our university’s success, will be very difficult.”

Selected by a 13-member search committee comprised of University of St. Thomas trustees, faculty and staff, Sullivan is replacing Fr. Dennis Dease who has been at the helm of the university for 22 years. Dease will retire on June 30, 2013.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been chosen,” said Sullivan. “St. Thomas is an outstanding university which enjoys a wonderful history and legacy that is firmly rooted in its commitment to Catholic values and the liberal arts while looking forward with an entrepreneurial spirit.” Sullivan added, “Deciding to leave USD, a Catholic university, committed to academic excellence, leaders dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service, ethical leaders working and serving in our complex and changing world, has been very difficult. However, USD is in excellent hands and the great work will continue,” said Sullivan.

One particular achievement for which USD is very grateful to Sullivan, is the University’s 2011 designation as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus. “During my tenure, I have found that a USD education inspires and empowers students to be Changemakers – to make the difference they seek – to become individuals with self-fulfilling lives who are proactively creating positive, social, environmental and economic value.” This philosophy is deeply woven into USD’s DNA.”

President Lyons will describe the process for identifying Dr. Sullivan's successor over the next few weeks.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.