Posts Tagged ‘Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Announces Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran as President
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), which serves the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S., has announced that Jesuit Father Michael J. Sheeran will begin his tenure as president on April 1. He succeeds Jesuit Father Gregory F. Lucey, who has served as president since 2011.
“It is a great privilege to lead the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. We will work to advance the mission of Jesuit higher education: to help students lead exemplary lives and grow in service, faith and justice,” said Fr. Sheeran.
Prior to his new post, Fr. Sheeran had been president of Regis University in Denver for 20 years. He also served as the university’s academic vice president and academic dean. Under Fr. Sheeran’s leadership, Regis University’s student enrollment doubled. He also oversaw the development of Regis’ online academic programs, established partnerships with international Jesuit institutions and hosted Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton on campus in 1993.
Fr. Sheeran entered the Society of Jesus in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1970. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University and has taught at Regis University, Saint Louis University and Regis Jesuit High School in Denver.
Jesuit Father Stephen V. Sundborg, AJCU Board of Directors Chair and president of Seattle University, said, “On behalf of the AJCU Board of Directors, I welcome Fr. Sheeran as the new president of AJCU and thank him for his service. We also thank Fr. Lucey for his outstanding leadership over the past two years, and we wish him well in his return to Spring Hill College as its chancellor.” [AJCU]
Jesuit Father Michael Sheeran, who served as president of Regis University from 1993 until the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, will become president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in 2013. He recently spoke to the Denver Catholic Register about Catholic higher education.
Fr. Sheeran said one of the greatest challenges Catholic universities will face in the next two decades will be finding the money to pay fair wages to faculty and staff at a time when state and even federal government aid is on the decline. He continued:
“As well, I hope everybody who is interested in forming the human person and not just in the retention of facts will support more government aid to education rather than less. After all, the rationale for government support of education is twofold: First, the preparation of workers the economy will need; second—and much more profound—the preparation of citizens capable of discerning, voting and even of making personal sacrifices to achieve the common good.”
When he left Regis, Fr. Sheeran said he advised his successor, Jesuit Father John Fitzgibbons, to continue to model a Catholic style that flows from the texts of Vatican II.
“It’s a Catholicism that invites rather than gives commands,” said Fr. Sheeran. “It remembers that today’s Catholics are much better educated in secular subjects than ever before in history. They expect to make up their own minds. Our job is to present the Catholic tradition in an attractive, persuasive way so our students can recognize and be drawn to the wisdom of their Catholic heritage.”
As to the advice he’d offer to students, he said, “I like to remind them that God made a good world and then invites us to co-create with him to help the world realize its potential. It’s the graduate’s vocation to take God’s good world and make it better.”
For more from Fr. Sheeran, read the Denver Catholic Register’s “Seven questions for Father Sheeran.”
Jesuit Father Greg Lucey recently took over as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), a network of the nation’s 28 Jesuit institutions, and he is no stranger to Jesuit higher education. Fr. Lucey most recently served as president of Spring Hill College from 1997 to 2009 and previously held a number of other leadership posts, including rector at Marquette University, president of the Jesuit Conference and vice president for development at Seattle University.
Lucey said he took on the new role at age 78 because he is “very, very, very interested in the Jesuit, Catholic identity of our schools. I’ve worked on that since I did my dissertation back in 1978, looking at Marquette as a Catholic school. It’s been kind of my focus, and so now to be in a position to encourage and foster the Jesuit, Catholic identity of our colleges and universities — it’s just kind of ideal.”
Lucey visited nearly all 28 Jesuit colleges and universities between February and May of this year and said the experience “reaffirmed my appreciation of what is being accomplished and heightened my awareness of the challenges we face.”
As president, Lucey said that the three areas of priority he’ll be focusing on are formation in the Ignatian tradition, restructuring and ensuring that AJCU maintains an effective presence in Washington, D.C., in support of higher education.
Read the full interview with Lucey at the Seattle University website.
Jesuit Father Charles Currie, president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), has received the 2011 Henry Paley Memorial Award from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), which recognizes an individual who, throughout his or her career, has unfailingly served the students and faculty of independent higher education.
Fr. Currie is one of the best known advocates for independent higher education in Washington, across the country and internationally. During his tenure, the AJCU has moved to the forefront of efforts to preserve student aid, increase access to the underserved and strengthen the nation’s educational system in providing greater opportunities for a college education among underserved populations.
Currie also recently received a special award from The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The 2011 CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes was presented to him for his leadership “in developing and applying evidence of student learning outcomes to improve higher education quality and accountability.”