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Golden Gate Bridge and St. Ignatius church

Message from Father Privett

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

Stephen A. Privett, SJ Photo: Barbara Ries 2013 ©Dear USF Community,

As I near the end of my third and final term as president, the time for change for the University and myself has come. Accordingly, I have advised the Board of Trustees that I will step down as president once a successor has been named and the presidential transition is completed. Tom Malloy, Chairman of the Board, will communicate directly with you regarding the search process.

It is an understatement to say that email is an inadequate medium – though better than Twitter – to express my profound sense of appreciation for the privilege and honor only twenty-six others have enjoyed: serving as president of the University of San Francisco. The litany of those who have contributed to USF’s successes is a long and diverse one: trustees, faculty, staff, students, Jesuits, benefactors, advisory board members, alums, elected officials, local businesses, neighbors, foundations, civic leaders and friends across the globe. Their energy and generosity have transformed the University.

Let me briefly review some of those accomplishments: a faculty and staff second to none in their commitment to teaching/learning and student development; a sharper focus on academic rigor and social responsibility as constitutive components of Jesuit education; increased faculty/student engagement with pressing issues at home and abroad; campus facilities that match the quality of USF’s education; a more diverse and talented student body; the largest, most successful capital campaign ever; launching the University Council on Jesuit Mission; repeatedly high rankings from the Carnegie Foundation, the President’s Honor Roll and Washington Monthly for promoting the social mobility of low income students and responding to community needs; more faculty recognized nationally and internationally for their scholarly and creative works; establishment of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good and the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought; the development of successful new undergraduate and graduate degree programs, on-site and online; and the expansion of branch campuses, including Downtown.

All of the above and so much more are the products of the dedicated efforts of many hands. To all of you faculty, brother Jesuits, staff and students, I especially say “thank you,” “well done,” and continue to fashion an even more promising future for Jesuit education at USF.

While my long-term plans are unformulated, I remain focused on serving as president and I count on your continued support and good will, which have never been lacking. I will work closely with the next president to insure a smooth transition. That individual will be graced with a set of immediate colleagues – Vice Presidents, Deans and others in leadership positions – who are among the most competent, creative and caring administrators in American higher education and to whom the University and I owe a huge, un-repayable debt of gratitude.

I thank my Jesuit Provincials and our trustees for their support, direction and patience in allowing me to serve for these many years in this most rewarding and satisfying ministry, whose greatest blessing has been working together with all of you to “change the world from here.”

Stephen A. Privett, S.J.