May 6, 2014

La Salle University Names
James P. Gallagher Interim President

gallagher-web-smallPhiladelphia, 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.

March 25, 2014

Presidential Search Update

To the La Salle Community and its Many Friends and Supporters:

In my last communication to you concerning the Presidential Search process, I said that more information on the candidate to whom the Presidency had been offered would be forthcoming at the appropriate time. It is now possible for me to confirm that an offer was extended to Linda LeMura, Ph.D., Provost of Le Moyne College, to serve as the next President of La Salle University and that an unforeseen confluence of events prevented her from accepting.

The day after we informed Dr. LeMura that she had been selected, the current president of Le Moyne confidentially informed his trustees that he was engaged in a search that would likely lead to his departure. Faced with the potential loss of their president, provost, and two deans (who had indicated that they would leave Le Moyne if Dr. LeMura would no longer be at the school), the trustees of Le Moyne made a strong, heartfelt appeal to her to remain at Le Moyne. It is a testament to her sense of loyalty, honor, and dedication that she chose to do so. Dr. LeMura and the Le Moyne trustees asked that we not mention these details until their leadership situation was resolved; that happened on Friday. In granting this request, we believed that the La Salle family would share the University Trustees’ desire to act in an honorable, respectful manner to an individual of whom we thought highly enough to select as our next President. We wish Dr. LeMura and Le Moyne every future success, and we thank you all for your patience and understanding in waiting for this explanation.

With this said, I can also report that the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees came to an agreement that the most prudent step at this time is to move to an interim presidency and to begin a new Presidential Search in three to four months. The Committee further agreed that the interim president will not be a candidate for a full term of office, thus giving us the benefit of time to conduct a thorough, unbiased search. The consultant for the previous search, and other consultants in college and university leadership, agreed that this decision is both consistent with best practices in higher education and the most advantageous course of action to secure the University’s interests. We have already begun the process of identifying potential candidates for the interim presidency and will provide a status report when developments warrant.

In moving forward with the next phase of our Presidential Search, please allow me to express our collective appreciation to the Search Committee that just completed its work. The entire La Salle community owes a sincere, heartfelt debt of gratitude to James Morris, Chairman of the recently ended committee; Board colleagues John Daly, Brennan O’Donnell, William Markmann, Judith Spires, and Brother Dennis Malloy; Alumni Association President Elizabeth Harper Briglia; faculty members William Price, James Smither, and Kathleen Czekanski; Students’ Government Association President Catalina Ta; Brother John Kane; and former Trustee and Past President Nicholas Giordano for their dedicated service, which produced meaningful results. What they accomplished, and how we proceed from this point on, could not be of greater consequence. This marks the first time in La Salle’s 151-year history that the University has gone outside the ranks of the Christian Brothers to select a President. Because of the unsurpassed record of supreme dedication, tireless effort, and intellectual and moral accomplishment that Brother Michael and his predecessor Brothers brought to the Presidency, the task of finding an acceptable lay candidate to continue to lead the University in the Lasallian tradition of Catholic education was a daunting one. The Search Committee discharged its duty with supreme skill and dedication. They helped us identify not just qualified candidates, but also procedures and issues that will be of tremendous value to us in crafting the interim leadership situation and in completing a successful search for a full-term President. To James Morris and the entire committee, our sincerest thanks and kudos; job well done!

In closing, it is important that we keep in mind that the process that has brought us to this point in time, while not what had fully been anticipated, has nonetheless helped hone our approach to what is likely the most critical duty we Trustees will ever perform for our beloved La Salle. I know you share both my determination to find the best possible interim (and then, full-term) president for the University, and a firm belief that, in doing so, we will ensure that La Salle’s brightest days are yet to come.

Sincerely yours,

William R. Sautter
Board of Trustees
La Salle University

January 13, 2014

Presidential Search Progress

Dear Members of the La Salle University Community,

I am happy to report that the search for the next La Salle president is progressing very well and remains on schedule. The closing date for applications has now passed and we are moving forward. The search committee met on Friday, January 10, and began to select candidates whose backgrounds and experiences ­seem especially consistent with the qualifications established for the La Salle presidency. The committee will meet again on January 22 to extend our evaluation and to select a small number of candidates who will be invited to confidential preliminary interviews with the search committee later in the month. On completion of that round of interviews, the committee will select candidates to participate in more extensive interviews with representatives of all campus constituencies. We will notify you of the specific methods, dates, and times for this final phase of the search, as soon as they are determined.

We are extremely pleased with the quality of the candidate pool and, as a result, continue to be mindful of the need for complete confidentiality. All of our remaining candidates are engaged in other assignments with very significant responsibilities. To prematurely expose publicly their interest in La Salle’s presidency would likely result in their withdrawing from our search. We will move forward with an effort to strike the appropriate balance between maintaining confidentiality with enabling adequate exposure between the candidates and La Salle’s people and programs. If you have any questions, please let me know at

Thank you for your continued interest and support.  Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014!


James V. Morris, ’79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!

October 18, 2013

Update on Behalf of the Presidential Search Committee

Dear Members of the La Salle University Community:

The presidential search is underway and I am writing with this additional update. With input from many of you, the search committee has completed the development of the Presidential Search Profile, to be used for all advertising and recruiting related to the search. A copy is available in the resources section of this website.

As you review the Search Profile, please pay particular attention to the attributes most highly desired in our next president. We urge you to suggest people you know who could serve effectively as our next president and/or those who might know potential candidates. Please forward their name(s) to our consultant, Tom Courtice, at The search committee is well aware that the success of our search depends on the involvement of all members of the La Salle community. By nominating strong candidates, you can immediately be involved in the search process.

Over the final months of 2013, we will generate the candidate pool through nominations received from you, contacts with national education and foundation officials, inquiries at other colleges and universities, letters to friends and alumni of La Salle, advertising in the Chronicle of Higher Education (10/25/2013 issue) and other publications, and the work of our consultant.

The search is off to a good start. I will write to you again as we enter subsequent stages of the process. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me ( if you have questions. Thank you for your interest and your support.


James V. Morris, ’79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

Saint John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!

October 8, 2013

Presidential Search Update

Dear Members of the La Salle University Community:

We thought you would appreciate knowing that the La Salle University Board of Trustees recently convened both a Board retreat and a special meeting to consider, among other items, issues related to the Presidential search. The Trustees voted unanimously to amend the by-laws to allow the Presidential Search Committee to consider both Christian Brothers as well as laypersons for that position. They also took the opportunity to add language to the by-laws to further emphasize (a) La Salle’s close relationship with the Brothers of the Christian Schools, (b) the history and tradition of La Salle as a Catholic and Lasallian institution, and (c) the importance of conducting University operations consistent with the moral, religious, intellectual, and educational ideals of the Christian Brothers in the spirit of St. John Baptist de La Salle. At the retreat, the Trustees also made suggestions as to the experience, values, and vision that prospective Presidential candidates should possess. We are confident that these by-law changes, as well as the guidance from the Trustees, will prove to be valuable in our search for the next President of our beloved La Salle University.

As always, should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail Jim Morris, Chair, Presidential Search Committee at


William R. Sautter, ’71
Chair, Board of Trustees

James V. Morris, ‘79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

Brother Dennis Malloy, F.S.C., ’74
Visitor, District of Eastern North America of the
Brothers of the Christian Schools
Member, Board of Trustees

September 9, 2013

Open Campus Community Meetings

Dear Members of the La Salle University Community:

As stated in my previous email to the La Salle University community, I encourage your participation in the upcoming open campus meetings with Tom Courtice, our Presidential  Search consultant.  The objective of these meetings is for Tom to hear directly from all faculty, staff, and students about La Salle’s future leadership needs and priorities.

All meetings will take place next week and will be held in the Dunleavy Room of the La Salle Union.  The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

1:45 p.m. Open meeting with non-faculty Professional Staff

Thursday, September 19, 2013

11:15 a.m. Open meeting with Faculty

Friday, September 20, 2013

10:30 a.m. Open meeting with Maintenance and Security Staff
11:15 a.m. Open meeting with Clerical Staff
1:30 p.m. Open meeting with Faculty
2:15 p.m. Open meeting with Students

Please mark your calendars with these very important meeting dates.  We need your thoughts and perspective as we move forward with this important search.

Thank you once again for your interest and support.


Jim Morris, ’79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

Saint John Baptist de La Salle.  Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts.  Forever!

August 29, 2013

Next Step in the Presidential Search – The Pre-Search Study

Dear Members of the La Salle University Community:

I am writing to provide you with an update on the next steps in the Presidential Search process.  The Search Committee met on Monday, Aug. 26, to confirm plans for the weeks ahead and to discuss the launch of the search process at La Salle.

On behalf of the Search Committee, I encourage your participation in mid-September when our search consultant, Tom Courtice, will be on campus.  Alice Hoersch, Executive Assistant to the President, is working with Tom to arrange pre-search conversations with all campus constituencies.  We have identified Sept. 18 – 20 as a time when we hope most of you can be available to meet with and talk to Tom to provide your input into this critical pre-search study.  This will be his most complete opportunity to meet and hear from all faculty, staff, students, alumni, and Trustees.

Tom’s conversations with you and the pre-search study have three primary purposes:

  • To ensure that Tom will be well-informed about La Salle, thereby performing his consultative role with full understanding;
  • To give all constituencies an opportunity to register their views about La Salle’s future leadership needs and priorities; and
  • To enable Tom and the Search Committee to produce a Presidential Search Profile that outlines the key opportunities and challenges facing our next president and the related set of presidential attributes that he/she must possess.

Alice will be announcing the schedule for Sept. 18 – 20.  We ask that you participate on these days with your best thinking about La Salle University’s future.  If you have any questions at this stage, please let me know by e-mailing me at

Thank you again for your interest and support.


Jim Morris, ’79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

St. John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever!

August 16, 2013

Presidential Search Process Underway

Dear Members of the La Salle University Community:

As most of you know, Brother Michael has announced his plans to step down as President of La Salle University at the end of his term in 2014. The La Salle community is grateful for his leadership and fifteen years of excellent and dedicated service as President. Since the announcement, the Board of Trustees initiated the process to identify his successor. In June 2013, William Sautter, Chair of the Board of Trustees, appointed a Presidential Search Committee to lead the search process and asked me to serve as Search Committee Chair.

I am very pleased with the membership of the Search Committee, which has many talented individuals with diverse perspectives. The Committee has representation from students, faculty, alumni, trustees, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools.  Committee members understand and accept their responsibility and agree to the significant time commitments. I am very grateful for their willingness to serve the La Salle community in this important role.

Search Committee members are:

James V. Morris, ’79, La Salle University Trustee, Chair Presidential Search Committee
Senior Vice President, SEI

John M. Daly, M.D., FACS, ’69, La Salle University Trustee
Donohoo Professor of Surgery, Temple University School of Medicine, Temple University Hospital, and Fox Chase Cancer Center

Brother Dennis Malloy, F.S.C., ’74, M.A. ’83, La Salle University Trustee
Visitor, District of Eastern North America of the Brothers of the Christian Schools

Brennan P. O’Donnell, Ph.D., La Salle University Trustee
President, Manhattan College

William J. Markmann, M.D., ’70, La Salle University Trustee
President, Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation Associates

Judith A. Spires, ’75, MBA ’09, La Salle University Trustee
CEO, Kings/Balducci’s Brands

Kathleen E. Czekanski, Ph.D., R.N., CNE
Associate Dean for Nursing Programs, School of Nursing and Health Sciences

William A. Price, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

James W. Smither, Ph.D., ’72
Professor, Management and Leadership Department

Catalina Ta, ’14
President, Students’ Government Association

Beth Harper Briglia, CPA, ’80
President, La Salle University Alumni Association
Vice President of Donor Services and Grantmaking, Chester County Community Foundation

Nicholas A. Giordano, ’65
Interim President of La Salle University, 1998–99
La Salle University Trustee 1981-2006
Retired President and CEO, Philadelphia Stock Exchange

William R. Sautter, CPA, ’71, Ex Officio
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, La Salle University
President and CEO, Elliott-Lewis Corp.

Thomas E. Scheye, Ph.D., Consultant to La Salle University
Distinguished Service Professor, Loyola University Maryland

In July, the Committee interviewed four nationally recognized search firms with experience in higher education presidential searches. Following a highly competitive process, the Committee selected Dr. Thomas B. Courtice of AGB Search in Washington, D.C. to assist us. Tom has four decades of college administration experience and served for 10 years as President of Ohio Wesleyan University just prior to launching his search practice. Tom also has nearly a decade of search experience and he and his firm have extensive expertise working with Catholic colleges and universities. The Committee will meet with Tom again this month to formalize the process, confirm timelines, and continue to lay the groundwork to formally advertise the position.

The first critical step will be the development of La Salle’s Presidential Search Profile, a document designed to attract the interest of highly qualified candidates. In order for the Search Committee to develop this profile, Tom will begin to collect from all La Salle constituencies the attributes that they believe the next President will need to possess to advance the University. Tom will be visiting La Salle during the next month to conduct this study. All members of the La Salle community will have the opportunity to participate in this process. In the coming weeks, you will be seeing more information about how you can share your thoughts.

This is the first of regular messages from me as the search process moves forward. With this e-mail, the Search Committee is introducing a new segment on our Web site, This site will serve as a repository for all public information related to La Salle University’s presidential search. The site also has an e-mail link,, for sharing your thoughts and questions directly with the Search Committee.

On behalf of all of the members of the Presidential Search Committee, I thank you in advance for your prayers and support as we move forward through this very important process.


Jim Morris, ’79
Chair, Presidential Search Committee
Member, Board of Trustees

St. John Baptist de La Salle. Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever!

May 21, 2013

President Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C., Announces Plans To Step Down

La Salle University President Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C., Ph.D. today announced his plans to step down as University President after serving in that role for 15 years. McGinniss, a Christian Brother, has agreed to remain on as President until the end of his current term which ends May 31, 2014. A Presidential search committee is in the process of being formed and their work will commence early this summer.

Prior to his tenure at La Salle, McGinniss served for five years as President of Christian Brothers University located in Memphis, TN.

“Brother Michael has accomplished great things during his tenure as President of La Salle,” says La Salle Board Chairman Bill Sautter. “His strong and strategic leadership has left the University well-positioned for future growth and success. We are grateful for his hard work and unselfish commitment.”

“It has been an honor to serve as President of La Salle University and I am proud of the initiatives completed during my tenure which have benefitted our students, faculty, alumni and surrounding community,” says McGinniss. After 15 years and three terms as La Salle’s president, and after much discernment, it seems like this is the right time for me to transition this work to a new President.”

McGinniss leaves a strong legacy which includes critical initiatives that have had a profound effect on the University. Under his stewardship he launched a new strategic plan for the University that resulted in the following accomplishments:

  • Raised $133 million for various facilities, programs and other initiatives.
  • Increased the University’s endowment by 88 percent from $42 to $79.4 million.
  • Increased undergraduate enrollment by 13 percent, and graduate / doctorate enrollment by 24 percent.
  • Significantly increased alumni involvement in the life of the University.
  • Constructed $26 million St. Basil’s residence hall and adjacent Treetops Café overlooking Fairmount Park.
  • Expanded the physical footprint of the University with the acquisition of the former Germantown Hospital, taking the campus from 100 to 130 acres, creating a West Campus and a new, expanded space for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.
  • Supported the economic viability of the surrounding community with the development of the Shoppes at La Salle which include the first supermarket in the neighborhood in 40 years.
  • Expanded and completely renovated Holroyd Hall, featuring the Hugh and Nancy Devlin Center for Science and Technology.
  • Received unique recognition for civic engagement both academically and through extracurricular activities by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
  • Finalized planning for the development of La Salle’s new business school.
  • Completed expansion of Bucks County Center in Newtown.
  • Opened Montgomery County Center in Plymouth Meeting.
  • Enhanced academic programs that include the launch of:
    • Integrated Science, Business and Technology Department
    • Business Scholars Co-op program
    • Four-year BS / MBA program in Accounting
    • College of Professional and Continuing Studies
    • Expansion of the School of Nursing to the School of Nursing and Health Sciences to include Nursing, Nutrition, Speech-Language-Hearing Science and Public Health.
    • Doctoral programs in Theology and Nursing Practice

McGinniss states that the University’s mission remains strong, dedicated to excellence in teaching and learning, personal attention, a sense of community and a global perspective.

McGinniss serves on the Boards of Manhattan College, American University of Rome, La Salle College High School, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the Urban Affairs Coalition of Philadelphia. McGinniss is a former President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania and former North American Regional Director of the International Association of Lasallian Universities. In addition, he is a member of the District Council for the Christian Brothers District of Eastern North America. His professional memberships include the Catholic Theological Society of America, the American Academy of Religion, the College Theology Society, the Lasallian Association of College and University Presidents and the International Association of Lasallian Universities.

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.

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