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USD provost to become 1st female president of St. Thomas

USD provost Julie Sullivan. Photo courtesy of University of San Diego

University of San Diego provost Julie Sullivan is resigning her post to become the first female president of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., the school announced Thursday.

Sullivan, who has been at USD for eight years, will step down June 30.

“Dr. Sullivan’s contributions to the growth and development of our university are abundantly evident,” USD president Mary Lyons said. “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 USD's chief academic officer, Sullivan established the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and Sullivan 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 No. 1 ranking doctoral-serving institution for undergraduates studying abroad,” Lyons said.

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.

“I am thrilled and honored to have been chosen,” Sullivan said. “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.

"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."

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

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University of San Diego Executive(s):

Mary Lyons, Ph.D.

  • President

Andrew Allen, Ph.D.

  • Vice President, Provost

James Allen (President as of Aug. 1.

  • President

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