Founded in 1863, Saint Mary’s is a residential campus nestled 20 miles east of San Francisco in the picturesque Moraga Valley. Based in the Catholic, Lasallian and Liberal Arts traditions, Saint Mary’s currently enrolls more than 4,000 students from diverse backgrounds in undergraduate and graduate programs. The De La Salle Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guide the spiritual and academic character of the College.

As a comprehensive and independent institution, Saint Mary’s offers undergraduate and graduate programs integrating liberal and professional education. Saint Mary’s reputation for excellence, innovation, and responsiveness in education stems from its vibrant heritage as a Catholic, Lasallian and Liberal Arts institution. An outstanding, committed faculty and staff that value shared inquiry, integrative learning, and student interaction bring these traditions to life in the 21st century. The College is committed to the educational benefits of diversity.

The Position

Responsibilities of the Position

Reporting to the provost, and participating as a member of the President’s Cabinet, the vice provost for enrollment and communications will lead the institution in an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, defining and advancing the key messages that speak most clearly to and about the college to internal and external audiences. The vice provost will provide leadership to the enrollment and communications efforts by defining direction, priorities and strategy for admissions, student financial aid, the registrar’s office and the office of communications and marketing. The vice provost will be expected to forge strong partnerships across the campus and the extended Saint Mary’s community to ensure that this work is a collective effort that includes and is responsive to the highest aspirations of the college. The vice provost will be expected to:

  • build upon Saint Mary’s momentum in building brand by planning and managing the over-arching marketing and public relations activities of the college, collaborating with and advising/consulting leaders across the college to foster coordinated campus-wide communications, integrated marketing and message consistency;
  • oversee the articulation of the college’s positions on complex and sensitive issues, ensuring that the institution’s mission and accomplishments are advanced at the international, national, state, regional and local levels;
  • analyze and present data to shape strategic direction and regularly assess the effectiveness of Saint Mary’s recruitment, selection, financial aid programs and communications and marketing efforts, adjusting when and as necessary in order to remain proactive and responsive to market forces and college needs;
  • establish strategic direction, priorities and goals for the division; use data and analytical expertise to make proposals and decisions; link budgets and expenditures to measurable outcomes while achieving enrollment and communication goals;
  • guide a creative, forward-thinking program of student financial aid, maintaining fiscally responsible leadership;
  • participate as a member of the institution’s new strategic planning initiative;
  • hire, train, evaluate and provide mentorship and professional development opportunities for the enrollment, financial aid, registrar and communications team members;
  • collaborate with graduate deans in the creation, marketing, operations and enrollment of all graduate programs;
  • lead the college’s efforts to understand enrollment trends, tradeoffs and priorities that inform and shape enrollment policy programs while building relationships of credibility, transparency and respect throughout the college; and
  • work with the president, provost, senior campus leadership and all units of the college to ensure appropriate internal communication of strategic goals and activities.

Qualifications and Characteristics of the Successful Candidate

A master’s degree and significant, documented, progressively responsible management experience in higher education administration are required. The ideal candidate will possess strong analytical, interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills; be a proven collaborative decision maker who works well under pressure; possess knowledge of national educational trends; and have the capacity to lead and manage the complex interplay of marketing and recruiting strategies, enrollment goals, yield and financial aid; have a strong ability in branding and marketing an institution and have proven success in innovative thinking and risk-taking combined with excellent execution of both complex and routine marketing strategies.  Additionally, the ability to understand and coordinate all the operational processes in the areas of enrollment, financial aid, and marketing and communications will be expected of the vice provost, as well as innovation, creativity and a sense of play in harnessing technological capabilities as communication aids. Leadership ability, including the ability to build consensus and a sense of teamwork, tremendous strategic and analytical ability, a love of research and data and an ability to ask the right questions, uncover meaning and utilize research for its predictive results will be expected of the vice provost, along with a commitment to the value of a liberal arts education and to open inquiry, free expression and the exploration of faith. Within the context of Saint Mary’s Lasallian core principles including respect for all persons, faith in the presence of God, quality of education, concern for the poor and social justice and an inclusive community, the vice provost will represent the division and institution among all internal and external communities with transparency and integrity.

The stakeholders at SMC indicated that, in addition to the stated academic and educational qualifications being sought in the vice provost for enrollment and communications, the following personal characteristics would help ensure the success of the next vice provost:

  • one who will develop an understanding of SMC’s position within the marketplace;
  • one with confidence and expertise in analyzing the changing trends within higher education and developing a response to those changes;
  • a thought partner who is aware of the California state system and who will collaborate on creating innovative communications;
  • one with courage who is a calculated risk taker while also a collaborator;
  • one who is evolutionary rather than revolutionary;
  • one who understands the relational dimension of the SMC community and will strive to continue to build authentic relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
  • one who embraces the Lasallian mission of SMC and approaches the role with respect for all persons;
  • one who is committed to the Lasallian principle of concern for the poor and is committed to social justice;
  • an experienced manager and leader who will promote professional development within the talented team of Enrollment and Communications professionals;
  • one who espouses an absolute commitment to transparency and building honest, authentic relationships with all stakeholders;
  • one who is a change manager who will offer impactful, long-term strategies for the successful enrollment and retention of SMC students;
  • a hands on professional who enjoys the work and who will be transformational;
  • one who understands 21st century staff management and is a transparent collaborator who is acutely aware of SMC’s position within the regional, national and international landscape;
  • one who has a sense of humor and seeks joyful engagement;
  • a visionary who will collaborate with SMC faculty and other institutions to develop undergraduate pipeline programs;
  • one who values data and data-driven decisions and who will be a partner in establishing and achieving institutional enrollment goals;
  • one who is a strong listener;
  • one who understands the entire cycle of enrollment, including recruitment, enrollment, and retention, as well as the non-academic components which impact that cycle;
  • one who is skilled at advanced panic reduction and who will facilitate collaboration among all constituents;
  • one who will actively engage in the next strategic planning process with SMC stakeholders, which is due to launch in August 2019; and
  • one who strives to be an active participant in the Saint Mary’s College and greater external community.

History of the Position

The position had been held for four years by an individual who left at the end of June 2018 for another institution. An interim vice provost was named in August and will continue in the position into 2019, or until a vice provost has been hired.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

The vice provost’s portfolio is large, and extensive knowledge of trends in the higher education enrollment landscape will be expected of the incumbent. With small class sizes and a faculty that is committed to research and co-curricular engagements, there are opportunities to engage the entire community in recruitment activities. Taking time to understand the uniqueness of Saint Mary’s and its position in the marketplace will be required of the vice provost, as will self-confidence and a basic understanding of enrollment management and financial aid. The president, provost, and all colleagues on the president’s cabinet are looking for a thought partner to engage with them in creating awareness of Saint Mary’s by directing external College communications, building the philanthropic community, and enrolling students who will ultimately become proud alumni.

The vice provost should be a visionary who reaches out to the greater SMC community, one who is a strategic thinker and manager with the ability to connect people by providing the necessary data to support recommended changes in enrollment practices and communications with an approach that is  welcoming and confident. While data and technology skills and an understanding and appreciation of Saint Mary’s Lasallian mission and place in the enrollment arena will be absolutely critical, leadership, collaboration, and communication expertise were noted as equally important skills for the position. The SMC environment is one in which faculty and staff are relationship builders, so it will be critical to find an individual who has an affinity for relationship building, clear and positive communication, and a desire to be highly collaborative and transparent with all constituents.

The Enrollment and Communications Division

Reporting to the Vice Provost for Enrollment and Communications are the following individuals:

Dean, Office of Admissions with a total of 12 staff members

Dean, Financial Aid Services with a total of 8 staff members

Assistant Vice Provost and Registrar with a total of 6 staff members

Assistant Vice Provost, Office of College Communications with a total of 9 staff members

Executive Administrative Assistant

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

Archbishop Joseph Alemany had been dispatched to the West Coast in the mid-19th century by Pope Pius IX with the words: “You must go to California. Others go there to seek gold; you go there to carry the Cross.”

Alemany threw open the doors of Saint Mary’s College in 1863. After five years of struggle, he made a difficult journey to Rome to ask for help from Christian Brothers, whose superior sent nine mostly-Irish Brothers in 1868 to travel from New York by sea to San Francisco to manage the new school. Soon the Brothers were able to increase enrollment, stabilize the College’s finances, and establish Saint Mary’s as the largest institute of higher education in California at the time. The first bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 1872.

For more than 150 years, Saint Mary’s has survived the rugged challenges that closed many other such institutions and remains one of the oldest universities in the West.

The College moved from its cold, windswept campus in San Francisco to Oakland in 1889. Damaged by a devastating fire in 1894 and the famous 1906 earthquake, Saint Mary’s decided to move to the Moraga Valley in 1928, building in the distinctive Spanish Renaissance-California Mission-style of architecture that distinguishes the campus today. Eleven of the original buildings, including the Chapel, Dante, and Galileo Halls, are still in use today.

In 1936, “La Cruz de la Victoria,” the Cross of Victory, was added to the hill overlooking the campus. It is a familiar landmark for the Saint Mary’s community and a popular hiking destination that affords a stunning view of Saint Mary’s nestled below.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Saint Mary’s was one of four colleges in the nation where the United States Navy conducted pilot training. The Navy’s tenure here resulted in some significant changes, including moving the main entrance to the front of campus, providing a clear view of the Chapel from the lane leading in from the main road. The Navy also built Assumption Hall (now a freshman residence hall) and the world’s largest indoor pool (which no longer exists, although we built a pretty impressive pool to replace it).

In 1970 the previously all male school began admitting women, with the first degrees awarded in 1971. Today the student population is 60 percent women and 40 percent men.

Saint Mary’s has a strong tradition of service that is built upon the solid rock of Catholic social justice and the pioneering work of John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers, who insisted on education for all, regardless of their ability to pay. From those early days of educating the sons of California’s working class to engage in the California labor movement, to guiding students to serve the needy here and abroad, Saint Mary’s has cultivated a distinctive approach to doing good—engaging critical social issues through intellect, spirituality, and action. The College today is a powerhouse of community service, with students logging more than 40,000 hours a year in service to others, while integrating their experiences into their academics.

This rich history, writ large by visionaries and spirited explorers, is the foundation for today’s exceptional Saint Mary’s education, at a university that is distinctly and historically not elitist. Our diverse enrollment of talented young people, exceptional faculty, and successful alumni, are a testament to the vision and persistence of a bold 19th century archbishop and a band of stalwart Brothers who read the signs of the times and determined to do something bold. The tradition continues.

Moraga, CA

Moraga is a suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is named in honor of Joaquin Moraga, whose grandfather was José Joaquin Moraga, second in command to Juan Bautista de Anza. As of 2017, Moraga had a total population of 17,630 people.

Moraga is in a valley, surrounded by rolling hills (green in the winter, brown in the summer) and grazing cows. Residents enjoy walking or biking many trails in the Lamorinda area. Large sections of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail pass through the town.


Mission and Vision

Saint Mary’s College of California invites students to passionately embrace knowledge, the challenges of scholarship, and the capacity to make lasting change in the world. The foundation for this is their mission:

To probe deeply the mystery of existence by cultivating the ways of knowing and the arts of thinking.

Recognizing that the paths to knowledge are many, Saint Mary’s College of California offers a diverse curriculum that includes the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences, education, business administration and nursing, serving traditional students and adult learners in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

As an institution where the liberal arts inform and enrich all areas of learning, it places special importance on fostering the intellectual skills and habits of mind, which liberate persons to probe deeply the mystery of existence and live authentically in response to the truths they discover. This liberation is achieved as faculty and students, led by wonder about the nature of reality, look twice, ask why, seek not merely facts but fundamental principles, strive for an integration of all knowledge, and express themselves precisely and eloquently.

To affirm and foster the Christian understanding of the human person which animates the educational mission of the Catholic Church.

Saint Mary’s College holds that the mystery which inspires wonder about the nature of existence is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ giving a transcendent meaning to creation and human existence. Nourished by its Christian faith, the College understands the intellectual and spiritual journeys of the human person to be inextricably connected. It promotes the dialogue of faith and reason: it builds community among its members through the celebration of the church’s sacramental life; it defends the goodness, dignity and freedom of each person, and fosters sensitivity to social and ethical concerns.

Recognizing that all those who sincerely quest for truth contribute to and enhance its stature as a Catholic institution of higher learning, Saint Mary’s welcomes members from its own and other traditions, inviting them to collaborate in fulfilling the spiritual mission of the College.

To create a student-centered educational community whose members support one another with mutual understanding and respect.

As a Lasallian college, Saint Mary’s holds that students are given to its care by God and that teachers grow spiritually and personally when their work is motivated by faith and zeal. The College seeks students, faculty, administrators and staff from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds who come together to grow in knowledge, wisdom and love.

A distinctive mark of a Lasallian school is its awareness of the consequences of economic and social injustice and its commitment to the poor. Its members learn to live “their responsibility to share their goods and their service with those who are in need, a responsibility based on the union of all men and women in the world today and on a clear understanding of the meaning of Christianity.” (From The Brothers of the Christian Schools in the World Today: A Declaration).

College Strategic Plan, 2015-2020

The Strategic Planning process was designed to galvanize the College community around a compelling vision and future possibilities for continued intellectual vibrancy, financial strength, and innovation. The leadership-driven project engages the College community to define and commit to a comprehensive 5-year plan that specifies goals, initiatives, outcomes, measures, resources, and an implementation framework that will move the College successfully toward achieving its aspirations.

Distinctive Excellence: Defining the Future of Saint Mary’s College


Saint Mary’s College of California will be the leading Catholic comprehensive university in the western United States – known for its academic excellence, foundation in the liberal arts, ethical leadership for a just society and the common good, integrative and collaborative learning, and distinctive transformative education for students.


The College’s existing mission statement celebrates its three traditions, the classical tradition of liberal arts education, the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the Catholic Church, and the vision of education enunciated by Saint John Baptist de La Salle and developed by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and their educational institutions for more than 300 years. This strategic plan extends the application of that mission even further into the 21st century as described below.

Characteristics of SMC’s Mission

The identity of Saint Mary’s College of California is built on three core commitments:

The Liberal Arts Tradition – the commitment to shaping our curriculum and programs to ask the fundamental questions of human existence and to situate our knowledge in light of the best thinking and writing that informs our past, present, and future.

Our Catholic Identity – the understanding of the College grounded in and informed by what it means to be Catholic, to be part of a tradition and a Church with deep and profound beliefs.  Grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition, we are a community where the living tradition of the Church enters into genuine dialogue with the most pressing concerns of the 21st century.

Our Founding Lasallian Heritage – grounded in and informed by the core values of Saint John Baptist de La Salle: providing a quality education for each of our students rooted in the presence of God, promoting a just society and concern for the poor, and building an inclusive and diverse student-centered educational community where all are respected and welcome.


  • Promoting global perspectives and inclusive excellence
  • Preparing students for meaningful personal and professional lives
  • Integrating the intellectual, spiritual, and social lives of our community
  • Creating a more just and sustainable world
  • Addressing the conditions and effects of poverty

Strategic Goals and Initiatives

Multiple strategic opportunities and areas of differentiation were discussed by the Cabinet, Steering Committee, task forces, and other stakeholder groups participating in the planning process. The following six strategic themes and key initiatives emerged as our institution-wide priorities for the next five years, serving as a strong foundation for realizing our bold vision over 20 years.

  1. Raise the Academic Profile and Distinction – “Discovery in Dialogue”

Our ability to compete for students, faculty, and funding rests on the quality of our academic programs. Our markers of excellence are demonstrated by the scholarly achievements of our faculty and students, the engagement of students with ranked faculty, the transformation of our students into ethical, global leaders pursuing common good, and the relevance of the Saint Mary’s education to achieving a meaningful professional life. Our graduates will be entering a world characterized by growing uncertainty, interdependence, diversity, and technological developments. Our distinctiveness stems from our ability to inspire passionate problem-solvers who integrate their intellectual and spiritual lives, and who work and thrive at the front lines of the world’s great challenges. Today’s world needs the blend of critical thinkers, scientifically and technologically literate citizens, ethical and inclusive leaders, and working professionals to build the kind of community we model on campus. Our primary initiatives are:

A. Be nationally recognized for academic excellence distinguished by collaborative approaches to critical inquiry that uncover human potential, advance the common good, and create a more just, sustainable world.

B. Invest in faculty sufficiency and support commensurate with SMC’s goal of elevated academic profile and distinction, including adequate numbers of ranked faculty; faculty diversity that more closely mirrors the composition of our students; institutional support for scholarship, integrative collaborative activity and endowed chairs; and technology for flexible and innovative course formats.

C. Support academic excellence in community by building an academic learning commons enabled by contemporary technologies and housing our Library, and by providing adequate faculty offices and instructional spaces.

D. Prepare graduates for meaningful professional lives by integrating students’ academic and co-curricular experiences with professional and/or post-graduate work (e.g., internships, capstone courses and collaboration with faculty and community/professional partners), and providing ongoing support, personal care, and mentoring for students’ professional development.

  1. Support the Student Lifecycle – “Access to Success”

Saint Mary’s is primarily a residential campus, but today’s campus “destination” is a blend of physical and virtual spaces and activities. A large portion of our students desire to live on campus, and, at the same time, community, dialogue, and relationships are paramount in the  Saint Mary’s environment that thrives on opportunities and experiences of engagement and intellectual sustenance. We require additional facilities for the undergraduate and graduate housing demand, facilities with the latest features to enhance our competitive attraction to students seeking an experience like Saint Mary’s. These recommendations call for integrated strategies for our student-centered facilities, services, and experiences. Our primary initiatives are:

A. Realize Saint Mary’s as a destination campus for undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff through the definition and implementation of a comprehensive student housing strategy and a co-curricular program establishing a more community-focused residential experience that goes beyond housing to nurture the mind, body, and spirit.

B. Become a 24/7 campus that provides multiple access points for interaction, comfort, engagement, and transactions in support of a more vibrant and active campus life, which increasingly engages the local community.

C. Continue progress in the retention, persistence, and graduation of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

  1. From De La Salle to Lasallian – “Expanding Responsibility for Lasallian Higher Education”

Our goal is that Saint Mary’s be–and be publicly recognized as–the model of the best of Catholic higher education. We thus see the need for an internal deepening, development, and contemporary expression of our traditions, as well as a concerted effort to externally promote them. In particular, this means that we must clearly articulate a purposeful intersection of our three traditions–Catholic, Lasallian, and Liberal Arts – in which the whole is greater than the parts and where no tradition stands in isolation from or in opposition to the others; advance an inclusive community grounded in love, respect, support, and dialogue; and foster the development of leadership for and engaged participation in all three traditions among faculty, staff, and students. Our primary initiatives are to:

A. Invest in initiatives to enhance the Catholic identity of Saint Mary’s College, including creating a Board of Trustees mission committee, convening a Task Force to explore a Catholic Studies Program, and expanding formation programs for SMC faculty and staff.

B. Further amplify the life-giving SMC traditions through the impact of the Office of Mission by increasing ongoing support of individual, unit, and community development for mission integration that will nurture academic, social, spiritual, and vocational life, while modeling dialogue about the purposeful intersection of our three traditions. We educate for human fulfillment and for the promotion of the Common Good.

C. Raise the visibility of how the campus community can support sustainability efforts, consistent with our Sustainability Action Plan, through various actions (e.g., learn, assess, act, advocate, and pray). Our Catholic and Lasallian traditions require good stewardship of the earth and service to the economically poor, many of whom live in areas most at risk of environmentally related inequalities.

  1. Prioritize Facilities and Footprint – “Defining our ‘Place’”

Physical space and facilities are integral parts of a student’s learning experience, and a satisfactory learning space and environment is necessary to delivering our distinctive academic experience. These initiatives prioritize the major outcomes desired from our master planning process, with impacts in the near term and beyond. Among our top priorities are an academic learning commons enabled by contemporary technology that houses our Library, technologically advanced classrooms appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students, improved residence halls and co-location of faculty offices on our main campus essential in providing our distinctive, personalized, and high quality education driven by students’ need for regular faculty interaction and collaborative learning opportunities.

A. Complete a Campus Master Plan Update that is aligned with strategic plan priorities and that is approved by the Town of Moraga by February 28, 2016.

B. Advance and sequence facility projects under the approved Campus Master Plan Update and apply financial resources necessary to begin implementation on March 1, 2016.

C. Modernize existing facilities (e.g., Dante and Galileo Halls; Soda Center; LeFevre Theater; other academic spaces; residence halls; Rheem Campus) to improve functionality and advance sustainability, with activities beginning by July 1, 2015.

  1. Get the Message Out – “Claiming Our Competitiveness”

As Saint Mary’s moves forward strategically in clearly defined areas, it is vital that we support our strategic direction with compelling messages and comprehensive marketing activities. Students and their parents have many options today, and it is our obligation to clearly describe the distinctive features of the Saint Mary’s experience so that they can make the right choice. There are many Catholic colleges in the West, but there is only one Saint Mary’s. We intend to tell our story energetically and purposefully. Our primary initiatives are:

A. Complete the Saint Mary’s College brand assessment project and integrate core messages with the strategic plan’s vision, mission, and objectives (e.g., community of spiritual and ethical global citizens; nationally recognized faculty working directly with students; challenging education; community engagement; culturally vibrant San Francisco Bay Area; comprehensive university).

B. Fund, develop, and launch an Institutional Marketing Plan, including a branding campaign, to raise Saint Mary’s visibility, positioning, and competitiveness among colleges and universities in the western United States.

C. Establish key performance indicators and targets for recognition and reputation, regularly measure the effectiveness of institutional marketing and apply findings to enhanced marketing, enrollment, fundraising, engagement, and other quality objectives.

  1. Ensure Saint Mary’s Financial Stability – “Strengthening Foundations in Affordability”

Our College enjoys a strong financial foundation, but this status is contingent on multiple changing factors. Continued reliance on increasing tuition revenue to support operations may not be sustainable.  Our focus will be on strategic diversification of our revenue streams in light of current trends and future aspirations, always with an eye on systems and operations that strengthen our path forward. It is also critical that we actively engage the extended Saint Mary’s community to build lifelong relationships with us, participate in and benefit from the Saint Mary’s experience after graduation, and invest more extensively in our future. Being “Associated” together for advancement is critical for promoting and sustaining Catholic Lasallian higher education

Our primary initiatives are:

A. Advance a robust culture of philanthropy built upon lifelong relationships with the College, board participation (from the Board of Trustees and Regents to School-level bodies) and manifested through meaningful alumni engagement and increased philanthropic revenue in support of priorities and strategic objectives.

B. Develop a multiyear enrollment management and retention strategy that results in a student body which reflects Saint Mary’s mission, continues to sustain its academic profile and enhance its reputation, and ensures the balance of student affordability and institutional financial sustainability.

C. Articulate a financial aid philosophy (inclusive of managing student indebtedness) that guides policies and programs for the use of institutional resources and builds awareness about the principles that underlie them.

D. Develop and implement a strategic plan for intercollegiate athletics and campus recreation based on our commitments to competitiveness and financial sustainability.

E. Conduct and implement workforce planning and efficiency analysis to optimize quality, apply disciplined cost management, demonstrate efficiency in the context of dynamic market forces and strategic priorities, and implement rigorous performance management programs aimed at ongoing, sustainable people performance and productivity.


James A. Donahue, President

James Donahue became the 29th President of Saint Mary’s College of California on July 1, 2013.

He holds a B.A. degree from the College of the Holy Cross. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a doctorate in religious and social ethics from the Graduate Theological Union (GTU).

From 2000 to 2013, he was president of the GTU, a consortium of nine independent theological schools and Affiliate Centers, located in Berkeley, California. Prior to his presidency at the GTU, President Donahue served 15 years at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as professor of theology and ethics, dean of students and vice president for student affairs. He also held faculty and administrative positions at Boston College and Santa Clara University.

President Donahue has been committed to the public role of ethics and theology throughout his career. He has served as an ethics consultant to various organizations, including the Levi Strauss Corporation, the Department of Defense and the Catholic Health Association.

His primary research areas and teaching interests include professional ethics, religion in public life, and the issues of organizational and professional ethics. In addition to producing a multitude of articles, papers, presentations and speeches, he is the co-author of Ethics across the Curriculum: A Practice-Based Approach, and the co-editor of Religion, Ethics and the Common Good. He is also completing the manuscript for his third book, Organizational Character: Studies in the Ethics of Institutions.

His nonprofessional interests range from jazz to political analysis to college basketball and professional baseball. He and his spouse, Jane Purinton, have two sons.

Margaret Kasimatis, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Dr. Kasimatis joined Saint Mary’s College of California in February, 2018, as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. She oversees the operational management of the College, with specific responsibility for academic affairs, enrollment, student affairs, and technology. She is responsible for articulating the College’s academic vision consistent with its strategic plan, and Lasallian Catholic mission.

Dr. Kasimatis provides strategic and operational leadership, vision, and direction for the design and implementation of the College’s academic programs, student services, and enrollment services; initiates plans and actions for the establishment and maintenance of a physical environment conducive to teaching, learning and living; and provides academic and administrative leadership to the College’s students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Kasimatis has a distinguished history in higher education as a faculty member and an academic leader. Prior to Saint Mary’s, she served as Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Educational Effectiveness for 11 years at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She has also served in academic administrations at Harvey Mudd College and California State Polytechnic University. Additionally, she has served as the vice chair of the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and regularly serves as a WSCUC evaluator.

Dr. Kasimatis has held full-time faculty positions at Harvey Mudd College and Hope College, and has published journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics related to social cognition, including social-cognitive theories of motivation, the relationship between emotion and cognition, and the impact of gender terms on perception. Her scholarly work includes a focus on strategic planning and culture change within universities, and she is the co-author of the 2017 book, Meaningful and Manageable Program Assessment: A How-To Guide for Higher Education Faculty.

Kasimatis earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Loyola Marymount University and both her master of science and doctoral degrees in social psychology from Purdue University.

The Academic Program


  • Academic majors: 43
  • Undergraduate schools: Three, including Economics and Business Administration, Liberal Arts, and Science.
  • Undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • Graduate degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Leadership, Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts in Dance, Master of Business Administration, Executive Master of Business Administration, and Doctorate in Educational Leadership
  • Student-faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Average class size: 18
  • Academic calendar: 4-1-4, two four-month terms and one four-week January Term.
  • Number of full-time faculty: 226
  • Percentage of full-time faculty with doctorates: 95 percent

Current Rankings

  • 2018 U.S. News & World Report: Best Colleges, Top 10 Western Regional Universities
  • 2018 U.S. News & World Report: Best Value, Top 20 Western Regional Universities
  • 2018 Top 25 Online EMBA by Online MBA Today
  • 2017-18: Princeton Review’s Best 382 Colleges
  • 2017: PayScale ranked SMC’s undergraduate business degrees among the highest with return of investment
  • 2017: PayScale ranked SMC 41st in its college salary report among four-year colleges
  • 2017 Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education Rankings: SMC listed among the top 25 percent of U.S. colleges and universities
  • Top 5 percent among U.S. Colleges and Universities for salary potential by PayScale
  • CEO Magazine: SMC’s Hybrid Executive MBA ranked 16 globally

The Student Body

Fall 2018 Student Profile

  • Number of traditional undergraduates: 2,795
  • Number of graduate students: 1,086
  • Gender distribution of fall 2018 first-year students:

Female: 57.4 percent

Male: 42.6 percent

Ethnic diversity of fall 2018 first-year students:

  • Students of color: 46 percent
  • White: 41.5 percent
  • Hispanic/Latino: 28.9 percent
  • Asian: 12.3 percent
  • African-American/Black: 3.3 percent
  • Native American: .6 percent
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: .5 percent
  • International: 3.3 percent
  • Other/not reported: 9.6 percent

Geographic diversity of fall 2018 first-year students:

  • Northern California: 69.7 percent
  • Southern California: 12.9 percent
  • Out of state: 13.1 percent
  • International: 4.3 percent

Percent of undergraduates living on campus:

  • First-year students & upperclassmen: 56 percent
  • First-year students: 99.7 percent


  • NCAA Division I teams: 16
  • Club sports teams: 13
  • Conference affiliation: West Coast Conference
  • Mascot: The Gael

Facts & Figures – 2018-19

  • Tuition and fees: $47,130
  • Room and board: $15,370
  • Full-time undergraduates receiving financial aid: 94 percent
  • Average undergraduate financial aid package: $36,900
  • Endowment: Exceeded $181 million as of June 30, 2018

Benefits Overview

  • Medical Plans
  • Dental Plans
  • Vision Plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Benefits
  • Tuition Benefits

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 Kendra E. Dane at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Saint Mary’s College of California website at

Saint Mary’s is an equal employment opportunity employer. We support inclusive excellence and are committed to creating a safe and welcoming community for all. College policy prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition, physical or mental disability, gender stereotyping, and gender identity, taking a protected leave (e.g., family medical or pregnancy leave), or on any other basis protected by applicable laws.