Philadelphia, PA —– La Salle University, established through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers, and known for its academic excellence, practical teaching, and devotion to students, today announced the appointment of James P. Gallagher, Ph.D., as Interim President. Today’s appointment was announced by William R. Sautter, ’71, Chair of La Salle’s Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Gallagher is an extremely respected, seasoned president and accomplished academic leader who is ideally suited to maximize La Salle’s potential during this interim period,” Sautter said. “In addition to his other duties as Interim President, I have also asked him to play a major role in the search for the next President of La Salle University and to participate in the further development of the University’s strategic plan.”
Gallagher will succeed Brother Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C., Ph.D., ’70, who, in May 2013, announced his intention to step down at the end of his term on May 31, 2014, after 15 years as President.
“I look forward to providing the best leadership possible to the La Salle community and to participating in the life of the University,” Gallagher said. “In addition, I look forward to supporting the University as it takes steps into the future and to assisting the Board of Trustees in the search for the next President of this fine institution.”
Gallagher is widely known nationally and regionally for his educational administration and leadership. Among his many notable accomplishments, Gallagher served as President of Philadelphia University for 23 years. During his tenure, he successfully guided the school through a major transformation from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science to Philadelphia University. He more than quadrupled the University’s applications for admission, expanded its academic offerings, constructed state-of-the-art facilities, significantly increased its endowment, and raised its national and international profile as a quality institution of higher learning. Under Gallagher’s leadership, the University grew to include six schools offering more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. By the time Gallagher left Philadelphia University in 2007, more than half of all students enrolled in the school were majoring in programs that had not existed 15 years earlier.
During his career, Gallagher played a key role in the state’s educational system, holding a number of high-level appointments. He is a former Chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Education, a position he held for nearly a decade, and a former Commissioner of Higher Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He also served as a member of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission for several years and is a former Trustee of The American University of Rome.
Gallagher served as Interim President of Arcadia University in 2011.
He was President of Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pa., from 1977 to 1981, where he was the first lay leader in the school’s history. Previously, he served in senior administrative roles at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Gallagher is a widely respected leader, having served as a critical member of numerous civic and educational organizations, including the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Independent College and University Presidents of Pennsylvania (AICUP). Gallagher has served as a member of the Connelly Foundation Board of Directors since 2007.
Gallagher holds a Ph.D. in higher education from The Catholic University of America. He completed post-doctoral studies at Yale University’s School of Management and the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He earned a Bachelor of Science from St. Francis College in Pennsylvania and a Master of Education from Duquesne University.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.