Saint Louis University (SLU), one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic, Jesuit higher-education institutions, invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of vice president for student development.

Founded in 1818, SLU has campuses in both Saint Louis, Missouri, and Madrid, Spain. It is recognized for its academics, research, health care, and strong commitment to faith and service. SLU typically has an enrollment of 12,500 students, about 8,000 of whom are undergraduates. (In the fall of 2020, numbers are very close to normal.) SLU prides itself on maintaining a welcoming environment for a diverse population of students of all faiths, ethnicities, genders, identities, and backgrounds. Over 4,000 students typically live on campus in one of seven residence halls and four apartment complexes. (In fall 2020, this number is approximately 3,600 students.) As a top-100 research university, SLU offers 87 undergraduate majors and 88 graduate disciplines. The university has 14 programs ranked in the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The Position


The vice president for student development is responsible for providing vision, leadership, and effective management of all Student Development units and functions. The vice president is an executive officer of the university and serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Reporting to the university’s provost, the vice president provides key counsel, especially on matters involving student development, the organizational integration of Student Development into the Division of Academic Affairs, the academic mission, and the overall student experience.

The vice president works closely with the cabinet, provost, deans, faculty, staff, students, and the Board of Trustees to strengthen a collaborative, university-wide effort to provide holistic support to students. The vice president manages an operating budget of $21 million, leads over 115 professionals, and has nine direct reports, including the associate vice president and dean of students (currently under interim leadership); the director of student development and shared business services; the director of housing and residence life administration; the director of campus recreation and wellness; the director of event services and the Busch Student Center; the director of the student involvement center; the director of the center for community engagement; the director of campus ministry; and an executive assistant.

The vice president is a champion for students and actively promotes opportunities for students to develop leadership capacity, enhancing their engagement as citizens of both the campus and the wider communities in which they live and serve. The vice president also maintains a visible presence with the broader university community, trustees, parents, and external constituencies.

Other key responsibilities of the vice president include design and implementation of Student Development programs and services advancing the university’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; development of programs and other initiatives in collaboration with students, faculty, and staff that promote an active, safe, and healthy social environment; management and efficient allocation of human, financial, and facilities resources designed to achieve Student Development’s strategic vision and objectives; oversight of outcomes assessment and analysis and the communication of results to the campus community; and recruitment, development, and retention of professional and support staff.

Additional responsibilities of the position are outlined below.

  • Serve as advocate and spokesperson for students to the university administration, advise the president, provost, and senior officers of student issues, and develop strategies for their resolution.
  • Exercise a visible presence with the university community, trustees, parents, and external constituencies; represent Student Development to the rest of the university; and promote the active involvement and participation of faculty in Student Development programs and the co-curricular life of students.
  • Promote opportunities for students to develop and utilize leadership skills and enhance their involvement as citizens of both the campus and the wider community.
  • Establish and promote strong working relationships between Student Development, faculty, and other campus units to promote student safety and well-being.
  • Oversee the recruitment, management, development, and retention of professional and support staff in the division of Student Development. Evaluate staff, cultivate a strong sense of teamwork, promote the development of a strong leadership team, establish an environment of mentoring and support, and encourage interaction and collaboration across Student Development as well as with other academic and administrative units within the university.
  • Represent Student Development and the university on various university and community boards and committees in order to facilitate the work of Student Development and build strong and supportive relationships.
  • Provide leadership in collecting and disseminating information about student issues, trends, and patterns to the university community.


Since January 1, 2020, Debra Rudder Lohe has served as interim vice president of student development. Lohe brings to this role almost 25 years of higher education experience and more than ten years at SLU, serving since 2011 as director of SLU’s Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning. She has a strong commitment to mission, values, teamwork, leadership, and working collaboratively across the university.

Lohe follows Kent T. Porterfield, who served as vice president for student development at SLU for over 13 years through 2019. Following a brief sabbatical from SLU and service as a senior fellow with the American College Personnel Association, Porterfield joined Gonzaga University as vice provost of student affairs in summer 2020.


The vice president for student development is a position of broad and strategic leadership on the St. Louis campus. The vice president serves as the point person for student affairs and oversees the many offices and services that support the education, needs, and aspirations beyond the classroom of all undergraduate students and, through student-services offices in the professional schools, graduate students as well.

The next vice president for student development will also provide counsel and collaboration to the provost on relocating the Division of Student Development and integrating its functions with those of the Division of Academic Affairs. This role, which is focused on creating synergies between the student experience both inside and outside of the classroom, is key to realizing SLU’s distinctive mission and its Jesuit commitment to educating the whole person.

Additional challenges and opportunities for the next vice president for student development, as articulated by key stakeholders, are listed below.

  • In collaboration with the provost and other campus partners, develop an integrated, community-based approach for delivering mentalhealth care and supportive services to SLU’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.
  • Continue SLU’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, collaborating with the vice president for diversity and community engagement to advance the “Clock Tower Accords” that emerged following six days of peaceful occupation, teach-ins, and community conversations between student leaders, neighborhood activists, faculty members, administrators, and President Pestello in the wake of the 2014 tragic deaths of two African-American young men—Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and VonDerrit Myers, Jr., the son of a SLU employee, in St. Louis.
  • Support the efforts of the University Undergraduate Core Committee, which has worked to create a reimagined common undergraduate Core at the center of a distinctive SLU education and is designed to develop civic-minded, creative, and socially-engaged students for generations to come.
  • Support the strategic goals and objectives of the university and the Division of Student Development’s 13 major units. Champion and elevate the work being done in service to students, advocate for appropriate resources, support excellence and the ongoing professional development of all staff, and build and sustain a culture of continuous improvement.


At an appropriate interval after joining Saint Louis University, the following will initially define success for the vice president for student development.

  • Considerable effort has been invested in devising and implementing a reorganization plan to maximize efficiency, develop a cohesive leadership structure within the Student Development Division, and integrate operations within the larger framework of Academic Affairs.
  • A close working relationship has been established with the interim provost and, as appropriate, the permanent successor in the chief academic affairs leadership role.
  • Strengthening SLU’s response to, and support for, student mental health has been made a top priority. The vice president for student development has reached out to the broader campus community to address critical issues pertaining to student mental health and, in collaboration with campus partners, has developed an integrated, systemic approach to delivering mental health care and supportive services to SLU students.


An advanced degree in a relevant discipline and a strong academic orientation are essential. A doctorate is preferred. A progressive record of achievement, working within student development and/or student affairs, and substantial experience working with individuals and groups in a residential academic community are required. Significant leadership and management experience in complex higher education environments, including strong financial and budget management skills, is necessary for success.

The ideal candidate will also possess a passionate commitment to the education, development, and empowerment of young people, and the ability to elicit their trust and confidence; a record of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including demonstrated, measurable achievement in addressing the challenges of a diverse student body; a current understanding of student issues and a keen sensitivity to the changing patterns of student experiences and family dynamics; familiarity with legal issues affecting students and the issues, challenges, and trends that affect the management of student development programs; and a demonstrated understanding of, and respect for, the Catholic/Jesuit pedagogical tradition. Additional capabilities and experience that will be important considerations in the selection of the vice president for student development include a readiness and willingness to explore innovative approaches to integrating the functions of Student Development with those of the academic units and the Division of Academic Affairs, as well as experience with fundraising and the stewardship of university donors.


An Overview of the Office of the Provost

Nearly all of the academic units at Saint Louis University report to the provost or members of the provost’s staff. All academic deans (except the dean of the School of Medicine) report directly to the provost, as do the vice president for research, the vice president for enrollment and retention management, the vice president for diversity and community engagement, the director and dean of the Madrid campus, the dean of the university libraries, and the associate and assistant provosts who comprise the provost’s senior staff. Upon successful conclusion of the search, the new vice president for student development will also report directly to the provost.

Additional reporting units include:

  • Academic Advising;
  • Academic Records Revision Committee;
  • Center for Global Citizenship;
  • Center for Workforce and Organizational Development;
  • Charter School Sponsorship;
  • Distance Education Committee;
  • Honors Program;
  • Office of Institutional Research;
  • INTO Saint Louis University;
  • Learning Technologies Advisory Committee (LTAC);
  • Pre-Professional Programs;
  • Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning;
  • Summer At SLU;
  • Student Development (transition to academic affairs to be facilitated by new vice president for student development);
  • University Undergraduate Core Committee (UUCC);
  • University Career Services.

Leadership of the Division of Academic Affairs

Michael Lewis serves as the interim provost at Saint Louis University. He assumed his current responsibilities in June 2020, though he also served in the same capacity from August to December, 2018. He follows Chester (“Chet”) Gillis who served as interim provost from January 2019 through May 2020.

Lewis, an associate professor of chemistry, has been a member of the Saint Louis University faculty since 2004. He has been recognized by his colleagues in the college with the William V. Stauder, S.J., Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences.

He has served as associate provost since 2013, overseeing the university’s Office of Faculty Affairs. In that role, Lewis has led university-level initiatives related to faculty development, faculty hiring, contracts, promotion and tenure policies, workload policies and other efforts aimed at serving SLU faculty members and departments. In August 2019, he was appointed as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as the university conducted a search to permanently fill that leadership position.

Lewis received his BS degree in chemistry from Saint Mary’s University and PhD in chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following completion of his doctoral degree, he served as a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard University for three years before joining the faculty at Saint Louis University.

Saint Louis University initiated a search to permanently fill the position of provost on August 3, 2020. It is anticipated that a new provost will be named and in place not later than July 1, 2021.

The Division of Student Development

The vice president for student development leads a staff of approximately 115 across the many functional units of the Division of Student Development. Rooted in the Ignatian tradition of cura personalis (care for the entire person), the mission of the division is to enhance students’ opportunities to develop as whole people—mind, body, and spirit—in support of their overall success. A guiding vision is to support students in becoming contemplatives in action: self-aware, critically reflective, culturally fluent, caring, and ethical leaders who will make a positive difference in their communities.

The Division of Student Development has an annual budget of about $21.5 million. As a major stakeholder in SLU’s educational mission, the organization plays a primary role in fostering a vibrant and stimulating community for students through support of the organizations, activities, and events that contribute to the cultural, intellectual, and recreational life of the campus. It also provides a suite of services that promote and enable student well-being and success, including support for learning and living communities.

In pursuit of its mission, the Division of Student Development is responsible for ensuring that students have high-quality opportunities to develop leadership skills in a variety of campus and community settings and to participate in a full range of co-curricular activities. Student Development staff work in partnership and collaboration with faculty, academic departments, and student leaders to enhance the overall quality of the student experience and each student’s potential for success. The vice president is accessible and responsive to students who may have concerns that pertain to their own development or the development of others.

Leadership of the Division of Student Development

Debra Rudder Lohe, PhD, currently serves as the interim vice president for student development at Saint Louis University. In this role, she provides leadership for and works alongside student affairs professionals in Academic Support Services, Campus Ministry, Campus Recreation and Wellness, the Center for Service and Community Engagement, the Dean of Students Office, Disability Services, Housing and Residence Life, the Student Health Center, the Student Involvement Center, Student Responsibility and Community Standards, and the University Counseling Center. She also works closely with operations teams in Event Services, Shared Services, and SLU’s bookstore and campus dining partners. During her time in this role, she has prioritized transparency and collaboration during SLU’s COVID-19 response, as well as retention, mental health/well-being, and racial equity initiatives.

Lohe’s professional home is the Paul C. Reinert, S.J. Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, which is the teaching center at SLU. In this role she helps SLU educators move from intuition to intention in their teaching practice, advances institution-wide educational initiatives, and works with academic units and university leaders on evidence-based, innovative, and mission-focused curricula. She serves/has served on a number of university committees and task forces, including the Learning Technologies Advisory Committee (co-chair), the University Undergraduate Academic Affairs Committee, and the Strategic Planning Steering Committee among many others.

On campus, Lohe has been recognized as a 2018 Woman of the Year and received a 2017 Collaborative Partner Award from the Division of Student Development. In the fall of 2018, she served as the acting associate provost for faculty affairs and development at SLU. She has been named a recipient of the 2020 JASPA award for Outstanding Achievement in Jesuit Student Affairs. Lohe also recently completed the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities’ Ignatian Colleagues Program, a mission-formation program for leaders at Jesuit universities.

Before coming to SLU, Lohe directed the composition program at Washington University in St. Louis, where she also received her doctorate in English. While there, she taught writing, literature, and gender studies courses to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Lohe is a nationally-recognized leader and scholar in the field of educational development. Her recent work focuses on mentoring new professionals in the field and on developing new or revitalizing existing centers for teaching and learning (CTLs). She also focuses on the organizational development role of CTLs, creating strategic partnerships between educational developers and academic administrators, and sensible strategic planning for CTLs. She has been an active member of and leader in the U.S.’s premier educational development professional society, the POD Network, since 2009, serving on numerous ad hoc and standing committees. She is a former member of the POD Network’s board of directors (the Core Committee), a former Finance Committee Chair, and a former member of the Executive Committee.

Following the close of the search to secure a permanent successor as the next vice president for student development, Lohe anticipates refocusing her full professional attention on the work of the Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.

Organizational Structure of the Division of Student Development

The Division of Student Development is comprised of the following major units:

  • Dean of Students Office;
  • Housing and Residence Life;
  • Student Health Center;
  • University Counseling Center;
  • Disability Services;
  • Student Responsibility and Community Standards;
  • Academic Support Services (inclusive of tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, and University Writing Services);
  • Student Involvement Center;
  • Campus Recreation and Wellness;
  • Campus Ministry;
  • Shared Business Services;
  • Busch Student Center and Event Services;
  • Center for Service and Community Engagement.

The Division of Student Development typically employs 650 to 800 students spanning all division offices and units.

Office of the Vice President: The Office of the Vice President has one full-time executive assistant and two student workers. Freshman orientation and housing discounts represent the largest expenses.

Office of the Associate Vice President and Dean of Students: The Dean of Students Office supports students by fostering well-being, mindfulness, and cura personalis. This area is comprised of Academic Support, Disability Services, the Office of Student Responsibility & Community Standards, Student Health, University Counseling Services, and Physical Therapy. There are six directors, 42 staff members, and over 130 student staff members.

Business and Auxiliary Services/Shared Business Services: This department oversees the business services, budgeting, and finance responsibilities within student development. The Shared Services team consists of one director, four full-time staff, and six student staff. This department supports all administrative and budgetary responsibilities of the vice president and the 15 departments and major areas. The concept of a shared services administration was implemented in 2012, centralizing the business and administration functions to reduce inefficiency, establish standardized business processes and procedures, and improve internal controls to decrease risk and increase oversight of the division’s budget and expenses.

Busch Student Center (BSC), Student Mail Services, and Events: This department has one director, four professional staff members, and 40 student workers. It is also home to SLU Esports, which includes a gaming facility in the BSC and supports intramural, club, and varsity esports teams under the leadership of a program director.

Campus Ministry: Campus Ministry offers opportunities for cultivating an informed faith, a commitment to social justice, and an integrated way of life. The department has one director, 11 professional staff members, and over 20 student workers.

Campus Recreation: This department oversees the division’s health-promotion, educational programs, and numerous recreational facilities, including the Simon Recreation Center, outdoor recreational fields, indoor and outdoor pools, and a sand volleyball court. The department has one director, 13 professional staff members, and about 290 student workers.

Center for Service and Community Engagement: As a part of its outreach mission, the center connects students, faculty, staff, and alumni with service opportunities, academic-service activities, and social-justice advocacy. This department has a total of six staff members: one director, five professional staff, and about 120 student workers.

Housing and Residence Life: The Department of Housing and Residence Life strives to provide a “transformative residential experience.” About half of Saint Louis University freshmen find both social and academic support in one of eight on-campus learning communities. The unit has one director, 19 professional staff, and more than 200 student workers. The department also supports theme housing, which allows students to live together based on a common topic or value and engage in extra-curricular experiences related to the theme of the community. Undergraduate students are required to live on-campus for their first four semesters. There are 11 residence halls, apartment buildings, and complexes on the SLU campus.

Student Involvement Center: The Student Involvement Center (SIC) offers and promotes educational experiences for students that enhance their campus involvement, leadership development, and college transition. The department has a total of seven professional staff, including one director, six professionals, and six student workers.

Strategic Priorities

The Division of Student Development has identified four strategic priorities.

Mental Health and Well-Being

Enhance community-based approach to supporting student mental health and well-bring; value the importance of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being as essential to academic and intellectual success.

Student Success and Retention

Working in collaboration with partners in academic affairs, provide whole-person support for students to ensure student success and retention; understand student success as going beyond metrics to the development of whole and flourishing human beings.

Integrative and Mission-Focused Learning

Embody the ideal that learning is a lifelong endeavor and that our work is intentionally focused on formation and transformation; frame student growth and development through an Ignatian lens, fostering critical reflection on the relationship between self and others.

Racial Equity and Antiracist Practice

Actively work to advance racial equity in all aspects of our work; commit to and make visible antiracist practice in our systems and in our individual actions.

Divisional Statement on Diversity

In support of Saint Louis University’s Jesuit mission, the Division of Student Development is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect and dignity for people of all backgrounds and cultures. It is our mission to encourage and support a thriving and diverse community among our staff and students.

We honor the differences in our community, whether they be age, ability, race, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, and prepare our students to thrive in a multicultural, diverse society. Our efforts are grounded in cultivating awareness, inclusion and engagement through intentional experiences, events and programs that demonstrate our commitment to excellence.

Institution & Location


Institutional Background and History

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

Guided by the institution’s Jesuit mission, SLU seeks to offer students a rigorous and transformative education that helps them develop into confident leaders. SLU students rank in the nation’s top ten percent on ACT and SAT tests. SLU has a vibrant and diverse faith life, evidenced in part by Sunday student masses which regularly attract 800 attendees. Ten percent of students will be the first in their family to complete a college degree.

Academically, compassion and ethical leadership in a global context take center stage. Outside the classroom, members of the SLU community provide more than 1.6 million service-hours each year. SLU was ranked first for service by the Princeton Review. Many of SLU’s courses and programs include and integrate service-learning. In 2019, SLU welcomed its largest freshman class in history, which had an average high school GPA of 3.92 and ACT scores in the top ten percent nationally.

The creation of the Saint Louis University Research Institute, along with construction of a state-of-the-art Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building, will give students and faculty the tools they need to make world-changing discoveries. A new SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital will “keep SLU on the leading edge of health care innovation,” and SLU is currently engaged in the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history.

Saint Louis University is a major catalyst for urban renewal in the heart of a vibrant city. With 2,270 faculty members and a $1.2 billion endowment, the institution contributes more than $715 million in annual economic impact to the region, while supporting more than 6,800 jobs in the St. Louis metro area.

Midtown St. Louis is currently experiencing a major transformation, and SLU is in the middle of it all, working with developers and community partners to thoughtfully shape the future of the region through ventures like Prospect Yards, the Armory, City Foundry STL, Chouteau Greenway, Cortex Innovation Community, and more.

About St. Louis, Missouri

Located in the middle of the city that shares its name, SLU’s main campus is walking distance to St. Louis’ performing arts center, Cortex Innovation District (a key reason St. Louis is among the top startup cities in America), and Prospect Yards, a new urban social-and-business hub. The city’s iconic, 630-foot Gateway Arch, built in the 1960s, honors the early 19th-century explorations of Lewis and Clark and America’s westward expansion in general. The campus of SLU and the city of St. Louis are an easy drive from more than 300 cities.

St. Louis is a city of 79 different neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive style and characteristics. In terms of population, St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri, just behind Kansas City. It is situated along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which forms the state line between Illinois and Missouri. The Missouri River merges with the Mississippi River 15 river miles north of Downtown St. Louis, forming the fourth-longest river system in the world. The estimated 2018 population of the city proper was 302,838 and the bi-state metropolitan area was 2,804,724. Greater St. Louis has the largest metropolitan area in Missouri, and is the 20th-largest in the United States.

Within the city are two major research universities. In addition to Saint Louis University, the campus of Washington University in St. Louis straddles the city line. The Washington University Medical Center, located in the Central West End neighborhood, is made up of numerous medical and pharmaceutical institutions, including the nationally recognized Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

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. St. Louis is also home to the St. Louis Zoo, perennially ranked one of the nation’s best, and the Missouri Botanical Garden, with the second-largest herbarium in North America.


“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 our institutional mission and Catholic, Jesuit values.”

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


Fred P. Pestello – President

Fred P. Pestello, PhD, became the 33rd president and chief executive officer of Saint Louis University in 2014. He is the first permanent lay president of Saint Louis University since its founding in 1818.

SLU’s accomplishments during Pestello’s tenure include a $115 million investment in student housing and a historic partnership with SSM Health that includes the building of a $550 million hospital and outpatient facility at the SLU Medical Center. During his tenure, SLU has enrolled its most talented first-year class. Pestello actively sustains a campus-wide focus on inclusivity, having peacefully resolved a major campus protest in fall of 2014.

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 and the Cortex Innovation Community. He is a founding member of the board of the Foundation for the Pontifical Institute of Theology at Posillipo in Italy.

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 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.

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

President’s Cabinet:

  • Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Jeff Fowler
  • Interim Provost, Michael Lewis
  • Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, David Heimburger
  • Vice President, General Counsel, Secretary of the University, and Chief of Staff, William Kauffman
  • Vice President for Development, Sheila Manion
  • Interim Vice President for Student Development, Debie Rudder Lohe
  • Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine, Robert Wilmott
  • Vice President of Diversity and Community Engagement, Jonathan C. Smith
  • Vice President of Enrollment and Retention Management, Kathleen B. Davis
  • Vice President for Mission and Identity, David Suwalsky, S.J.
  • Vice President of Compliance and Ethics, Jessica Evenson
  • Vice President for Research, Kenneth A. Olliff

Academic Programs and Faculty

Saint Louis University is comprised of 12 schools and colleges and two degree-granting centers. Academic courses are being delivered via a mix of in-person and online instruction for Fall 2020.

Colleges, Schools, and Degree-Granting Centers

  • Advanced Dental Education
  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business
  • Education
  • Engineering, Aviation, and Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Law
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Outcomes Research
  • Philosophy and Letters
  • Professional Studies (Online)
  • Public Health and Social Justice (includes the School of Social Work)
  • SLU Madrid

By the Numbers (Fall 2019):

  • over 190 undergraduate and graduate programs offered
  • 2,348 faculty members
  • 99 percent of tenured and tenure track faculty hold the highest degree in their fields
  • 17 graduate and undergraduate programs ranked among the top 50 in the country in 2019 by S. News & World Report
  • 9:1 student-faculty ratio

Academic Calendar

Undergraduate classes began on Monday, Aug. 17 and will conclude Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020.  Final fall exams will be administered remotely from Monday, Nov. 30 through Friday, Dec. 4.

Winter Session is scheduled to begin on December 14, 2020, and will conclude by January 17, 2021. The Spring Semester is scheduled to begin on January 19, 2021 and commencement is set for May 22, 2021.

The Student Body

Typically, over 4,000 of SLU’s approximate 12,500 students live on campus. (In the fall of 2020, this number is slightly reduced to around 3,600.) Students participate in over 175 organizations. The Division of Student Development supports eight learning and living communities and intramural and club sports in which over 2,300 students partake. Eighty-five percent of SLU students are involved in community service. In the graduating class of 2017, 44 percent of students completed their education without student debt.


SLU was the first Jesuit university to receive the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. In keeping with its Jesuit mission, SLU is constantly striving to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that welcomes all expressions of diversity and identity, including race, ethnicity, national origin, age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, faith, and ideology. Created by students, the Oath of Inclusion sets forth the expectation that all SLU students will work to promote inclusion while they are studying at the university. It also establishes—in writing—the expectation that all SLU students will embrace the inherent dignity of each person.

Degree-seeking student diversity (Fall 2019):

  • White: 68%
  • Asian: 11%
  • Black: 6%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • International: 5%
  • Two or more:  3%


SLU teams play 18 sports in NCAA Division I, including baseball, basketball, cross country, field hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. SLU is a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference. The head of Athletics reports to the president.

Study Abroad

Typically, about 820 SLU students participate in international experiences each year. The Madrid, Spain, campus is home to 826 students from 49 countries and can accommodate some type of study-abroad experience for all of SLU’s undergraduate majors.

Service Learning

Over 500 partner organizations serve as sites for volunteer and service-learning opportunities for SLU students. SLU offered 87 service-learning courses in fall of 2018.


An average of 1,000 students of all faith backgrounds attend the 4:30 and 8 p.m. student Masses at Francis Xavier College Church each Sunday.


According to self-reported data, 94 percent of SLU’s Class of 2018 were satisfied with their post-graduation path. SLU has more than 129,000 alumni living in all 50 states and 154 countries.

Benefits Overview

Employees of Saint Louis University receive the following core benefits.

  • Medical insurance
  • Retirement and 403(b) plans
  • Life insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment
  • Long-term disability
  • Tuition remission and tuition exchange
  • Jesuit faculty and staff children exchange program

Additionally, the following benefits are also available for employees who choose them.

  • Supplemental accidental death and dismemberment
  • Accident insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Dependent care
  • Flexible spending account
  • Optional life insurance
  • Health savings accounts
  • Vision insurance

For additional information regarding benefits, please visit:

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 Valerie B. Szymkowicz at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

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Saint Louis University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.