USF Hosts National Trustee Leadership Conference

First-of-its-kind symposium on governance training and support for Catholic educators

SAN FRANCISCO (July 2, 2012)

The University of San Francisco’s Institute for Catholic Educational Leadership (ICEL) will host Making Decisions to Sustain Your Mission, a four-day conference on trustee leadership in Catholic education, July 19-22. Designed for members of governing boards from Catholic colleges, universities, and high schools, this inaugural conference will include presentations and panel discussions focused on decision-making strategies that are not only mission-aligned, but also grounded in national research. Trustees from 25 schools from across the country will travel to San Francisco to participate.

ICEL Director Stephen Katsouros, S.J., EdD, whose academic research at Harvard University, Columbia University, and USF focuses on the characteristics of effective, high-performing boards of trustees, developed and organized the conference to meet a need he learned of through a recent survey of Catholic administrators. While reviewing his findings, Fr. Katsouros discovered that maintaining “Catholic identity” was the top area of proficiency needed by Catholic administrators today. “Based on this research, I wanted to design a mission-focused conference that would provide sound approaches to tackling challenges, while keeping Catholic identity front and center,” said Fr. Katsouros, who has an extensive teaching and administrative background, including his nine-year stint as president of Loyola School in Manhattan's Upper East Side, and is currently serving on USF’s Leadership Cabinet and on the boards of the Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco, Creighton University in Nebraska, and Regis University in Denver.

Fr. Katsouros is applying his national research on board effectiveness toward making ICEL a center of governance training and support. “This conference is not a one-time event,” Fr. Katsouros said. “This is the first in a series of professional development opportunities that will explore the links between board competencies and institutional performance. We look forward to welcoming a diverse cross section of leaders in Catholic education. Never before has a series of workshops such as this been so tailored to meet the specific needs of those institutions sending delegates. Not only will this time together renew our shared commitment to Catholic education, it will provide participants the opportunity to examine best practices on how to govern so as to sustain the mission and values of their institution.”

Each of the 60 trustees and educational leaders attending the July conference will receive a customized report of their board’s strengths and improvement areas, as well as a report detailing each board’s overall effectiveness based on proven performance indicators. The four-day symposium will include breakout sessions covering benchmarking strategies, fiduciary responsibilities, and leadership priorities. Distinguished keynote speakers and presenters include Robert McElroy, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco; Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, president of DePaul University; Patrick Bassett, president of the National Association of Independent Schools; and Geoff Boisi, former board chair at Boston College and founder of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. For additional details, please visit

Founded within the USF School of Education in 1976, ICEL’s mission is to inform, form, and transform leaders in Catholic Education.

By recognizing and honoring the experiences that students bring to ICEL, the institute strives to be a professional learning community with the following aims:

  • Offering rigorous and relevant programs for Catholic scholar-practitioners
  • Building a sense of community among the students and faculty who pray together and serve others
  • Preparing and supporting highly effective and dedicated Catholic educators and leaders committed to social justice

ICEL supports the mission of the University of San Francisco, producing leaders who are profoundly influenced by the teaching mission and ministry modeled by Jesus Christ.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit

To request interviews with ICEL Director Stephen Katsouros, S.J., EdD, please contact Anne-Marie Devine, USF’s senior director of media relations, at (415) 422-2697 or