The Opportunity

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University (SLU) is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic, Jesuit higher education institutions, with campuses in both Saint Louis, Missouri and Madrid, Spain. It is recognized for its world-class academics, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service. SLU currently has an enrollment of over 12,000 students, nearly 8,000 of whom are undergraduates, and offers 86 undergraduate majors and 83 graduate disciplines in which to study. SLU prides itself on maintaining a welcoming environment for a diverse population of students of all faiths, ethnicities, genders, identities, and backgrounds, with approximately 3,500 students living on campus in one of seven residence halls and four apartment complexes. Recognized for its efforts to make a world-class education affordable and rated among the nation’s top research universities, SLU has 14 programs ranked in the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The Position

Role of the Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety for Saint Louis University


Reporting to the Vice President for Student Development and serving as a member of the Student Development Leadership Team and the Provost’s Leadership Team, the Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety (AVP) provides comprehensive vision, strategic leadership, and effective management for the Saint Louis University Department of Public Safety (DPS). The AVP ensures an inclusive educational and working environment on campus, while also consistently building relationships and collaborating with students, faculty, and staff in support of a positive campus experience for all members of a diverse and learning-focused community. The AVP implements current and emerging best-practices in the field of public safety; prioritizes prevention and community caretaking; utilizes procedural justice initiatives to ensure organizational impartiality, transparency, fairness, respect, and dignity; and provides leadership and guidance in times of crisis, conflict, and other challenges regarding overall safety on an urban campus located in the heart of St. Louis. The AVP serves as the University’s representative with external law enforcement agencies, neighborhood security associations, and other external entities on general public safety and emergency response issues; represents the DPS with internal constituencies, including the Board of Trustees, the President’s Office, and student leadership; develops and implements the University’s Emergency Operation Plan and oversees the Campus Incident Management Team; assures regulatory compliance; and administers the daily operations of the DPS. The Assistant Vice President manages a staff of 93 authorized personnel, including five direct reports, and oversees an annual operating budget of $8.8 million.

The students, faculty, and staff at Saint Louis University are reflective of a diverse community representing a broad spectrum of identities and backgrounds. The AVP must have a deep commitment and a proven record of success in promoting and implementing access, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice initiatives, having effectively infused these values into the ethos of their previous institution or organization.

Specific Responsibilities

The Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety will:

  • plan, organize, and direct security and emergency-response activities;
  • develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure program effectiveness and alignment with University mission, values, and priorities;
  • test personnel utilization against the budgeted personnel-hours base;
  • serve as the representative for the Department of Public Safety on University committees;
  • develop collaborative relationships across the University with students, faculty, and staff;
  • work in conjunction with the DPS Leadership Team to analyze crime trends and incident reports, developing program utilizations of person power to offset the trends;
  • direct the maintenance of University crime statistics, including the timely compiling and filing of required reports with regulatory agencies;
  • act as the responsible authority for the department in emergency-response situations, and issue crime and emergency alerts as appropriate;
  • lead University-wide emergency-response efforts, including training of department and campus personnel;
  • provide strong leadership and supervision to the Department of Public Safety, ensuring recruitment of a diverse, well-qualified, and highly talented staff;
  • provide consistent, comprehensive, and continual training opportunities for departmental staff;
  • devise and participate in risk assessment activities;
  • oversee and direct University investigations;
  • manage budgets and administer other resources effectively;
  • propose and implement changes as necessary to enhance service and efficiency across the department.

History of the Position

After many years with the St. Louis Police Department, James Moran served most recently for seven years as the Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety at St. Louis University, retiring in February 2021. Daryl Walker, also a long-serving member of the St. Louis Police Department, assumed the role of Interim Assistant Vice President on March 1, 2021. As the University now looks ahead to a new chapter, and as the public safety needs on this growing campus continue to evolve, Spelman Johnson is assisting SLU in filling this critical role.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

The new Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety must possess a broad and deep understanding of national best practices with regard to the administration of public safety operations, community engagement, emergency management, modern technology, and organizational and staff development in a private, Catholic, urban university environment. The AVP should be an experienced leader capable of managing complex situations and staffing, wholeheartedly and demonstrably committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice at the highest levels, possessing a deep understanding of current issues around the national conversation on police violence and reform, and be equipped to contribute at both a strategic and operational level at a moderately-sized and vibrant research institution.

It will be critical to identify a competent and dedicated individual who can promote and develop the SLU Department of Public Safety staff/team, systematically build the trust of the University and local communities, set departmental priorities, and work proactively, in tandem with the Vice President for Student Development, senior leaders, peers/colleagues, and the other staff in the department to be progressive, innovative, and comprehensive in moving the department forward. In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated in the position announcement, the following were identified as priorities, opportunities, and challenges that will face the new Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety at Saint Louis University.

  • It will be essential that the new AVP commit to a comprehensive culture of collaboration and partnering, as well as clear and transparent communication within DPS and across the campus community. Louis University is committed to building strong, healthy, and mutually supportive relationships as a foundation of the campus culture, and strong collaboration is an absolute necessity in all endeavors to ensure success. The AVP and DPS touch a vast number of entities, including students, faculty, administration, departments, and other community members on and around the three domestic campuses, so it will be crucial that the new AVP quickly reach out across each of these areas to consistently build solid and mutually beneficial relationships that foster ongoing positive interactions. These connections are absolutely essential in order to assess the real needs of constituents, provide exceptional programs and services for the campus community, and ensure that DPS is known for its customer- and student-centered approach at all times. The new AVP should prioritize a great deal of time upon arrival in conducting a “listening tour” across SLU to discover the nuances and priorities of the campus around these critical safety issues. An important community partner for DPS is the St. Louis Police Department, with SLU being located in the heart of the city, so the AVP should also put emphasis on further developing and maintaining this relationship at all times.
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and anti-racism are foundational parts of the SLU value system, and the new AVP should be a proactive leader in supporting, understanding, embracing, and nurturing these concepts in all aspects of the job. There are a great number of underrepresented populations within the SLU community, and DPS needs to be a model for maintaining a strong sense of equity and an unbiased, supportive environment at all times.
  • SLU’s mission “…is the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity. The University seeks excellence in the fulfillment of its corporate purposes of teaching, research, health care and service to the community. The University is dedicated to leadership in the continuing quest for understanding of God’s creation and for the discovery, dissemination and integration of the values, knowledge and skills required to transform society in the spirit of the Gospels. As a Catholic, Jesuit university, this pursuit is motivated by the inspiration and values of the Judeo-Christian tradition and is guided by the spiritual and intellectual ideals of the Society of Jesus.” The new AVP, as a member of the leadership of the Division of Student Development, must possess a demonstrated understanding of, and respect for, the Catholic/Jesuit pedagogical tradition, integrate these principles into the daily operation of the Department of Public Safety, and be able to articulate the Jesuit mission effectively, particularly in the arena of social justice.
  • The new AVP will be expected to be very visible and, in essence, serve as the “face” of DPS. It will be a prime objective of the new Assistant Vice President for the Department of Public Safety to prioritize getting out of the office and being “seen” on each of the campuses, attending student events, collaborating across academic and student life, and spending time within the campus community in an effort to educate constituents on the benefits and services offered by DPS. To accomplish this, the new AVP should possess excellent communication skills and be able to articulate the position in innovative ways such that the “story” of the SLU Department of Public Safety is relayed across the University and beyond.
  • The new AVP should prioritize quickly getting to know the officers and other departmental staff as individuals, learn their particular needs, develop trust and confidence across the board, ascertain and understand the various responsibilities they perform and roles they play, be available at all times, provide comprehensive professional development opportunities and support for all staff, and oversee the ongoing promotion of a strong, cohesive team. These efforts should encompass a continuing emphasis on increasing officers’ knowledge of and skills in current best practices in higher education public safety, as well as serve to improve morale, promote confidence, and build trust across the department. Providing for these critical needs in a more global and inclusive manner, through prioritized training around current “hot-button” issues such as trauma-informed care, mental health, de-escalation, anti-racism, and student activism, will be crucial for success. Additionally, the AVP should bring a strong human relations philosophy to the position, focusing on effective hiring practices, retention techniques, and a positive work environment for the entire department.
  • Given the current national climate regarding racism, police brutality, and the call for police reform, and given the focal point of the conversation that St. Louis has become, it is a difficult time around law enforcement at all levels. A number of students are coming to SLU from around the country with an apprehensiveness toward law enforcement, particularly those students from marginalized and minoritized communities. The AVP and the entire DPS must be prepared to take the appropriate steps to proactively address these ongoing conversations and build the trust and confidence of the entire community. The Assistant Vice President must be willing to have difficult conversations, actively listen and engage all members of the SLU community, and be transparent and collaborative in their solutions in order to effectively build relationships based on mutual understanding and create an innovative 21st century approach to safety and security. There is a great deal of pressure for change in the law enforcement environment, particularly in a role of this magnitude, but the successful candidate will be energized by these challenges and be prepared to address them from day one.
  • In order to continually improve the safety and security of SLU, innovation will be a focal point, and there will be a great deal of support for working together to implement new ideas, cutting-edge technology, and national best practices. With great attention focused on the success of the Assistant Vice President’s efforts and overall safety improvements across campus, these new ideas and advancements will be essential. While funding is not unlimited and not all new proposals can be undertaken, the new AVP will find that well-researched ideas accompanied by comprehensive data analysis will be considered and given thorough vetting. Seeking out best practices at other institutions, remaining current on any professional benchmarking opportunities, and being involved in IACLEA, IACP, or other professional law enforcement associations will be greatly encouraged.
  • DPS is comprised of armed and licensed security officers (not sworn), but the licensure requirement for DPS is conducted through the City of St. Louis Watchmen Division, not through a state POST certification. Candidates not from the St. Louis area will have three months to obtain this certification once employed.
  • This is an exciting time to join St. Louis University and an outstanding opportunity for the successful candidate to put their own professional mark on DPS and to strategically build a contemporary, 21st century, community-focused department. There is tremendous support from the President, the Vice President for Student Development, the Provost, peers/colleagues in Student Development, and other senior leaders to develop and manage a dynamic, trustworthy, and forward-thinking public safety program, so the new AVP can look forward to visioning and strategizing with these campus partners in order to move the DPS forward over time. As priorities are developed and plans are initiated, the AVP should be prepared to identify programs and services that are working effectively, as well as those areas that are not as efficient or successful, and be willing to add, enhance, and sunset programs as necessary. Upon arrival, the AVP should expect an extremely fast pace, as well as a vibrant environment in which to work.
  • SLU has recently utilized the Riseling Group as a consultant to conduct an external program review of DPS; the final report from this initiative should be completed by mid-fall semester and will serve as an effective starting point for the new AVP.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Saint Louis University, the items listed below will initially define success for the new AVP.

  • Communication from the department is frequent, a culture of transparency is being developed, and the “story” of DPS is being told to all campus constituents.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are foundational concepts throughout the SLU DPS, in hiring and other internal practices, as well as outreach to the SLU campus, to ensure that underrepresented and/or minoritized communities present at SLU feel valued, heard, and supported.
  • Satisfaction surveys show that student trust of DPS is increasing, students have begun to recognize the AVP as a trustworthy administrator, and students feel more comfortable interacting with the officers in the department.
  • Strong collaborative relationships have been established between DPS and the community, especially with the academic and administrative departments, faculty, students, the upper administration, local partners in the community, and the St. Louis Police Department.
  • The AVP is recognized as the “face” of the SLU Department of Public Safety by the campus community, particularly the students, and is present, involved, visible on campus, and recognized as fair, trustworthy, transparent, accountable, and open-minded when issues arise.
  • A dynamic strategic plan is being devised to move the department forward, with multiple stakeholder input, and current best practices around campus law enforcement are being implemented.
  • The SLU DPS staff is working together cohesively as a team, morale is high and rising, staff vacancies are being filled as quickly as possible, the AVP is consistently available and willing to listen to staff, a recruitment and retention plan has been devised, the field training program has been assessed and recommended updates proffered, and professional development opportunities are plentiful.
  • DPS is committed to the mission of the University, which is the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity, and works daily to integrate these principles into its operations, policies, and culture.


Qualifications and Characteristics

The position requires a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) or more than ten years of professional experience in a related field; prior experience in the field of public safety, law enforcement, or community engagement (ten years preferred); and at least five years of senior management experience in a law enforcement setting. The successful candidate will have a commitment to and track record of demonstrated success around diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice, as well as demonstrated success in recruiting, retaining, and leading diverse and complex organizations. Additional qualifications include familiarity with, and support of, the mission and values of Saint Louis University; demonstrated outstanding interpersonal skills, oral/written communication skills, and a strong ability to work collaboratively; experience and skill in conflict resolution and creative problem solving, utilizing innovative and contemporary practices; knowledge of emergency management procedures, practices, and regulations; training and proficiency in the use trauma-informed care to support individuals and communities; and a City of St. Louis Watchmen Division licensure, or the ability to acquire this licensure within three months of employment. Preferred skills and qualifications include direct experience in a  higher education environment, ideally in an urban setting; building and maintaining collaborative relationships with diverse University constituents; a demonstrated understanding of college student well-being; and experience with program evaluation and assessment.

In addition to the minimum academic and experiential requirements indicated above, other desired characteristics, skills, actions, strengths, and/or abilities noted from discussions with campus stakeholders include the following:

  • a progressive background in campus, municipal, or other law enforcement entity, with demonstrated experience in community engagement principles;
  • strong leadership and organizational development abilities that recruit, retain, and develop a diverse, cohesive, and inspired staff, while providing professional and personal development opportunities and promoting unity, teamwork, accountability, and retention throughout the organization;
  • demonstrated skills as an advocate and champion for diversity, equity, inclusivity, accessibility, and social and restorative justice, as well as a particular understanding of issues related to marginalized or underrepresented populations and communities of color;
  • an excellent and transparent communicator who possesses comprehensive public relations expertise, interpersonal skills, and the ability to effectively reach all levels of the University, including students, faculty, and senior leaders;
  • demonstrated collaboration and relationship-building skills with students, faculty, internal departments, and external colleagues, with the ability to understand the importance of interconnectedness, empathy, and partnerships;
  • the ability to listen carefully, ask knowledgeable questions, learn the culture of the University and the department, accept input from others, respect differing opinions, and then make well-informed and sometimes difficult decisions that are best for the department and the SLU community;
  • an understanding of current trends affecting students and the student experience, including, but not limited to, trauma-informed care, mental health concerns, gender identity, suicide ideation, intervention, and sexual assault;
  • the ability to multitask with multiple stakeholders who have diverse needs, adapt rapidly to changing situations, and be solutions-oriented with a “can do” attitude at all times;
  • a strategic thinker who can develop both short- and long-term plans around the needs of the DPS, formulate strategic, assessment, and operational plans, and then effectively implement those plans in tandem with the Vice President for Student Development, the Provost, academic and administrative departments, and other campus partners;
  • strong managerial and organizational skills in a law enforcement environment at a high level, with the unique ability to promote, develop, and maintain elevated levels of trust in the St. Louis University Department of Public Safety;
  • an innovator with a futuristic orientation possessing technological and social media savvy, problem-solving skills, and a willingness to try new opportunities, to remain informed on new trends and best practices, to look beyond the status quo, and to lead significant change processes;
  • familiarity with the accreditation process, and the ability to ensure and maintain accreditation for the DPS;
  • an understanding of the Jesuit mission and identity;
  • politically savvy, with the ability to effectively work within a complex university environment;
  • emotional intelligence, relatability, transparency, and responsiveness;
  • energy and enthusiasm for the role and the University, passion for the work, a positive attitude, a personable and approachable demeanor, charisma, and the ability to have fun on the job, even in the face of adversity;
  • character, integrity, ethics, empathy, humility, and a consistent intent to “do the right thing” at all times;
  • operational knowledge of Clery, Title IX, VAWA, and other federal guidelines and regulatory requirements/expectations;
  • experience with and an understanding of student activism, as well as how to engage with student demonstrations in a positive way;
  • previous experience with IACLEA or CALEA accreditation;
  • proven skills in de-escalation, non-lethal weapons, and mediation techniques.

Institution & Location

Overview of the Department of Public Safety

SLU’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) is staffed with 93 dedicated staff who patrol campus around the clock. Each is armed and licensed by the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners and has undergone training in both active shooter response and fair and impartial policing. As licensed private security officers, SLU DPS officers have the authority to arrest, and to search for and seize evidence in connection with an arrest while on Saint Louis University property.

The Department of Public Safety is an integral unit within the Division of Student Development.

Leadership of the Division

Sarah Cunningham, Vice President for Student Development

Since February 15, 2021, Dr. Sarah Cunningham has served as SLU’s Vice President for Student Development. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Life Strategy and Policy at Johns Hopkins University. In this role, she was responsible for managing and leading university-wide initiatives that supported student success across the University, specifically student health and well-being, crisis response, and student retention.

Dr. Cunningham has contributed to the field of student affairs for over 15 years. Before arriving at Johns Hopkins, she worked at the University of the Chicago as the Executive Director for Student Leadership, Involvement and Student Life Centers and Assistant Dean of Students for the University. Prior to the University of Chicago, she served at the University of Florida, George Mason University, and Slippery Rock University.


Dr. Cunningham holds a Bachelor of Arts in Combined Social Studies from Youngstown State University, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services from Western Illinois University, and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University. Her dissertation research looked at the lived experiences of student leaders at public universities who held a vote on their institutions board of trustees. Sarah enjoys taking in college sporting events, taking hikes with her rescue dog, Bailey, traveling, and the theater.

Institutional Overview

Institutional Background/History

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic universities. SLU, which also has a campus in Madrid, Spain, is recognized for world-class academics, life-changing research, compassionate health care, and a strong commitment to faith and service.

Guided by its enduring Jesuit mission, SLU offers its over 12,000 students a highly rigorous and deeply transformative education that helps them develop into bold, confident leaders. Rated among the nation’s top research universities, SLU boasts 14 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked among the top 50 in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Academics, ethics, spirituality, and compassion take center stage, while outside the classroom, members of the SLU community provide more than 1.6 million service hours each year — just one reason it is among the nation’s top colleges for making an impact. In fact, more than 120 of SLU’s courses integrate community engagement into academics.

About St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, the city, adjacent to, but independent of St. Louis county, in east-central Missouri, lies on the west bank of the Mississippi River (bridged there at several points) opposite East St. Louis, Illinois, just south of the confluence of the Missouri River. The city’s boundaries have remained unchanged since 1876, when it became administratively independent. It is, however, the state’s largest and most populous metropolitan area.

St. Louis is a vibrant metropolis in the heartland of the USA, with its fiercely independent frontier-town roots, layered with Midwest modesty. Commonly referred to as the ‘Gateway to the West’, this eclectic city is famous for its iconic 630-foot Gateway Arch, fiercely loyal sports fans, and blues music scene.

St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. In 2019, the city was awarded a Major League Soccer franchise, St. Louis City SC, which is expected to begin play upon the completion of a 22,500-seat stadium in the city’s Downtown West neighborhood in 2023. Besides the famous Arch, St. Louis is also home to the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri Botanical Garden, which has the second-largest herbarium in North America.

SLU’s Midtown neighborhood is home to top cultural attractions, such as the Fox Theatre and Grand Center Arts District. Nearby is a 200-acre innovation hub, Cortex. More than $1 billion in development is transforming the area around SLU, including the new Prospect Yards district, which is bringing restaurants, a seven-story hotel, a cinema, a greenway trail, and more within walking distance of campus. New developments near campus include City Foundry STL, St. Louis’ first true food hall, a curated retail and entertainment experience, creative offices, and apartments, as well as Iron Hill, a future vibrant, mixed-use area that will offer shopping, dining, hotel accommodations, offices, and residences.

Mission and Vision

The Mission of Saint Louis University is the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity.

The University seeks excellence in the fulfillment of its corporate purposes of teaching, research, health care and service to the community. It is dedicated to leadership in the continuing quest for understanding of God’s creation and for the discovery, dissemination, and integration of the values, knowledge, and skills required to transform society in the spirit of the Gospels. As a Catholic, Jesuit university, this pursuit is motivated by the inspiration and values of the Judeo-Christian tradition and is guided by the spiritual and intellectual ideals of the Society of Jesus.

In support of its mission, the University:

  • encourages and supports innovative scholarship and effective teaching in all fields of the arts, the humanities, the natural, health and medical sciences, the social sciences, the law, business, aviation, and technology;
  • creates an academic environment that values and promotes free, active, and original intellectual inquiry among its faculty and students;
  • fosters programs that link University resources to local, national, and international communities in collaborative efforts to alleviate ignorance, poverty, injustice, and hunger, extend compassionate care to the ill and needy, and maintain and improve the quality of life for all persons;
  • strives continuously to seek means to build upon its Catholic, Jesuit identity and to promote activities that apply its intellectual and ethical heritage to work for the good of society as a whole;
  • welcomes students, faculty, and staff from all racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds and beliefs and creates a sense of community that facilitates their development as men and women for others;
  • nurtures within its community an understanding of and commitment to the promotion of faith and justice in the spirit of the Gospels;
  • wisely allocates its resources to maintain efficiency and effectiveness in attaining its mission and goals.

Strategic Plan

Magis: Saint Louis University’s Strategy for the Future

In August 2014, the entire SLU community embarked on the ambitious effort to create the multi-year strategic plan, which was approved by the Board of Trustees in September 2015.

The strategic plan charts the University’s future course in a rapidly changing higher education environment. “Magis: Saint Louis University’s Strategy for the Future” defines the direction the University is following as it moves into its third century, providing a distinctive education based on Jesuit values and principles.

Key Initiatives:

  • Initiative One: Being a national exemplar of transformative educational and research excellence
  • Initiative Two: Being a market leader in health promotion and the highest quality medical care
  • Initiative Three: Being a leading catalyst for groundbreaking change in the region, the nation and the world
  • Initiative Four: Being an innovator and entrepreneur in all that we do
  • Initiative Five: Fostering a culture of excellence, effectiveness and efficiency deeply rooted in the institutional mission and Catholic, Jesuit values.

To read more about Magis: Saint Louis University’s Strategy for the Future:

Institutional Leadership

Fred Pestello, President

As President, Dr. Pestello oversees one of the nation’s leading Jesuit research universities with nearly 13,000 students, more than 7,000 employees, an annual operating budget of more than $975 million, and an endowment of $1.3 billion.

Dr. Pestello has galvanized the University community around a campus-wide effort to establish a new vision to be a global Jesuit university that is mission-focused, student and patient-centered, and research-driven, and is working with the people of St. Louis to reimagine, transform, and unify the city.

Under his leadership, SLU has created a comprehensive research strategy and areas of national eminence, developed the first University-wide core curriculum, opened two new residence halls, built a 90,000 square-foot Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building, established a new doctors’ office building, formed a historic partnership with leading Catholic health care provider, SSM Health, which includes construction of a new $550 million hospital and outpatient care center opening this fall, and strengthened SLU’s longstanding commitment to diversity and community engagement through the development and consistent focus on the Clock Tower Accords.

During Dr. Pestello’s tenure, the University has experienced its two most successful fundraising years in its more than 200-year history, for a combined total of over $220 million, and has raised $400 million on the campaign goal of $500 million. This includes the largest gift in SLU history, $50 million dollars from Dr. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield.

As a graduate of a Jesuit University himself, Dr. Pestello understands firsthand the promise of an education guided by the Society of Jesus and its rigorous, justice-oriented, educational mission.

Dr. Pestello currently serves on the board of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities and is a former member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. In St. Louis, he serves on the boards of Civic Progress, the Cortex Innovation Community, and Bi-State Development. He is also a founding member of the board of the Foundation for the Pontifical Institute of Theology at Posillipo in Italy.

Dr. Pestello is the only person to be elected as the first lay president of two U.S. Jesuit institutions. He joined SLU after serving six years as president of Le Moyne College, achieving record-breaking levels of enrollment, endowment, and campus construction. Prior to that appointment, Pestello was a faculty member, department chair, associate dean, and provost and senior vice president for educational affairs during his 25-year career at the University of Dayton.

Dr. Pestello earned his bachelor’s degree at John Carroll University and completed his graduate work in sociology at the University of Akron.

Academic Programs and Faculty

Saint Louis University is comprised of 12 schools and colleges and one degree-granting center.

Colleges and Schools

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Philosophy and Letters
  • College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Doisy College of Health Sciences
  • Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology
  • Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business
  • School of Education
  • School of Law
  • School of Medicine
  • School for Professional Studies
  • College for Public Health and Social Justice
  • Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing
  • SLU Madrid


Degree-Granting Center

  • Center for Advanced Dental Education

By the Numbers:

  • 12,281 students + 7,582 enrolled in the advanced college credit program
  • Students from all 50 states and 72 countries
  • 9:1 student-faculty ratio
  • 86 undergraduate majors and 83 graduate disciplines offered
  • 2,348 faculty members
  • 99 percent of tenured and tenure track faculty hold the highest degree in their fields
  • 14 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked among the top 50 in the country by the 2020 edition of S. News & World Report
  • The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger, and Barron’s all named SLU a best value college
  • Mascot: the Billiken, a symbol of things as they ought to be, who also brings good luck
  • SLU was the first Jesuit university to receive the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award
  • 18 NCAA Division I sports, including baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball, as a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to J. Scott Derrick at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Saint Louis University website at

Saint Louis University is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer committed to providing fair treatment of all in the SLU community on the basis of merit.