by Mike Knaak
The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University will soon be led by one president under a plan set up by the governing bodies of both institutions, further uniting the two campuses that share an academic program.
Planning for a single leader will take place while both campuses are led by interim presidents.
CSB President Mary Hinton is leaving June 30 and a search is underway for an interim president to replace her. St. John’s extended its contract with Interim President Eugene McAllister, who replaced the university’s first lay president, Michael Hemesath, in 2019.
“Once the legal and governance details have been finalized and after consulting with the Higher Learning Commission and other regulatory authorities as needed, we expect to announce a national search for a new president over both institutions later this year,” the leaders of both boards of trustees wrote in a memo to board members. “A single leader would provide a more integrated structure that effectively implements new and exciting opportunities for our students while retaining our unique identities as separate schools for women and men.”
One president, the boards believe, will result in “more effective and nimble decision-making and execution.”
The memo goes on to say “both boards believe that greater alignment between our two schools will put us in an even stronger position to compete in the competitive higher education marketplace. At the same time, we want to retain each school’s individual identity as we believe separate experiences for women and men under an outstanding joint academic program is a unique offering that provides us a competitive advantage.”
The College of St. Benedict was founded in 1913 and serves about 1,750 students on its St. Joseph campus. St. John’s University dates to 1857 and is home to more than 1,600 students on the campus three miles west in Collegeville.