San Francisco Advantage

New Leaders Bring a Fresh Perspective to USF 

by Taylor Fredericks, Office of Marketing Communications

The University of San Francisco has new leaders overseeing fundraising, branch campuses, and two of the university's storied academic centers.

Peter Wilch is now USF's vice president of development; Carol Batker is the vice provost for branch campuses; Melissa Dale is the executive director for the Center for the Pacific Rim; and Gerdenio "Sonny" Manuel, S.J., '71, is director of the Saint Ignatius Institute and psychology professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Cultivating alums in recruiting, internships, and job placement 

Wilch will focus on increasing USF's fundraising and deepening the university's connection with graduates. "I am tremendously impressed with USF's alumni," Wilch said. "Alumni participation is vitally important to helping us build a better USF. I'll be turning to them to help us identify and recruit top-notch students, and offer outstanding internships and career opportunities." Wilch replaced David Macmillan, who is now vice president of the new Office of Communications and Marketing.

Batker, whose position is new to USF, is responsible for growing the university's five branch campuses: Downtown San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, Pleasanton, and Santa Rosa. "Our goal is to provide a student experience comparable to the main campus at every branch, serving students and their communities with an excellent Jesuit education, high in academic rigor and focused on public service," Batker said.

As executive director for the Center for the Pacific Rim, Dale hopes to expand collaboration between departments and majors at USF that have connections to the Asia-Pacific region and emphasize the center's teaching, research, and public speakers series. 

In his role as Director of the Saint Ignatius Institute, Fr. Manuel oversees the institute's highly-regarded Great Books curriculum based on seminal Western texts in philosophy, literature, and theology.

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