University of St. Thomas president takes position with Santa Clara University

The president of the University of St. Thomas is stepping down from her role at the end of this academic year in order to take a position as president of Santa Clara University in California.

Julie Sullivan, Ph.D., has been the president of the University of St. Thomas for the past nine years and was the first woman president to be appointed to the position at the university.

She will become Santa Clara University’s next president on July 1, also becoming that university’s first woman president.

The University of St. Thomas announced the leadership change Tuesday, adding the move to California will allow Sullivan to be closer to her family.

“Leading St. Thomas has been an extraordinary privilege and opportunity,” Sullivan said in a statement. “Together with our accomplished and committed trustees, talented faculty and staff, and dedicated students and alumni, we continued St. Thomas’ longstanding trajectory to thrive and grow in new ways. The unique combination of leading an outstanding Jesuit, Catholic institution, along with the strong pull of my family, makes this an opportunity that I cannot pass up. I leave confident that the momentum we have collectively built will seamlessly continue with the strong leadership at St. Thomas.”

“Julie Sullivan has been a beloved and inspirational leader, and we are grateful for her incredible contributions to St. Thomas,” Pat Ryan, chair of St. Thomas’ Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “She succeeded in elevating St. Thomas, building a team of strong leaders, and implementing several transformational priorities during her tenure.”

Rob Vischer, the current dean of the university’s law school, is appointed to serve as interim president while a national search to permanently fill the role takes place.

“We look forward to working with Rob and the leadership team to implement the strategic priorities of the university, guided by our strong mission and convictions,” Ryan said.