University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., announced to the campus community today his intentions to step down at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. Father Quinn stated he came to the decision to resign as Scranton’s 25thpresident after careful thought and prayer, discerning that “both for the University and for me the time is right for a change.”
“In making this decision, I am filled with gratitude to the Scranton community – trustees, faculty, administrators, staff, parents, friends, alumni and students – for all that we have accomplished to advance our mission as a Jesuit and Catholic institution of higher education in the 21st century,” said Father Quinn in the campus communication.
When Father Quinn leaves office on June 1, 2017, he will have been the fifth longest-serving Jesuit president in the University’s history. He and J. Eugene Gallery, S.J. (1947-1953) both would have served as president for six years. Only William J. Byron, S.J. (1975-1982), Scott R. Pilarz, S.J. (2003-2011), John J. Long, S.J. (1953-1963), and J.A. Panuska, S.J. (1982-1998), have served longer terms as president.
Under Father Quinn’s tenure, Scranton has enjoyed national recognition for the value and quality of the education it provides to students. The University has seen its applicants grow to record numbers and has enrolled some of the largest classes in its history. Academic programs have expanded to include new five-year bachelor’s and master’s programs and the University added its second doctoral program: the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Campus improvements include the acquisition and renovation of Louis Stanley Brown Hall, the completion of the Loyola Science Center and the construction of the 116,360-square-foot, eight-story Leahy Hall. The University also completed – through a unique collaboration with outside partners – the renovation of the historic Madison School into an early childhood learning center and graduate housing.
Lawrence R. Lynch, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, announced in a letter to the campus community, also sent on Aug. 22, that the board had accepted Father Quinn’s resignation “with gratitude for his many accomplishments and devoted service at a special meeting on August 17.” In addition to noting many academic, philanthropic, administrative and strategic accomplishments during Father Quinn’s tenure, such as the development and adoption of the University’s 2015-2020 strategic plan “that is uniquely focused on the student experience,” Lynch also noted some of Father Quinn’s social justice and spiritual initiatives begun at Scranton.
“Out of concern for the poor and marginalized, Father Quinn continued the emphasis on community and service that began during his Inauguration week. He championed the University’s efforts to encourage a living wage in Northeastern Pennsylvania and to support refugees internationally and regionally. He also strongly advocated for expanded community-based learning and living-learning communities. A passionate advocate for Jesuit education who has written nationally on the topic, he spearheaded the creation of The Jesuit Center to help faculty and staff live out our mission as a Catholic and Jesuit institution more fully and with deeper understanding,” said Lynch.
According to Lynch, the University’s Board of Trustees will form a committee to conduct a national search for a new president that will seek input from the campus community and will make the “search process as inclusive as possible, within the necessary limits of confidentiality.”