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University Leadership

  • The University is sponsored by the Franciscans of the Third Order Regular and governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of both lay people and Franciscans. 

  • University President

    Fr. Malachi Van Tassell Leadership UPDATEDFr. Malachi Van Tassell T.O.R., Ph.D

    The Very Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R. assumed the office of President at Saint Francis University on May 12, 2014, with his official inauguration taking place on October 4, 2014. 

    Presently, Father Malachi is bringing his first strategic plan, Francis 2020 to completion.  In the summer of 2018, the university undertook a major institutional restructuring.  The ultimate goal of the re-structuring was to keep a Saint Francis University education affordable and accessible.  Building on the solid foundation of Catholic and Franciscan identity, the university affirmed its strong academic programs in health sciences and business.  The university made major investments in STEAM programs, including engineering and the arts.  Operating efficiencies have been achieved to keep the institution nimble during challenging times.  The university affirmed its commitment to intercollegiate athletics competition at the Division One level of the NCAA.  

    On July 1, 2019, the university launched Francis Worldwide, a school geared to graduate and non-traditional students with significant offerings in digital and on-line learning.  Thus far in his tenure, Saint Francis University has created several new academic programs.  These include, but are not limited to, Master's in Cancer Care, B.S. in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, B.S. in General Engineering, and a B.S. in Business Analytics. 

    Successful capital projects include the seven million dollar Shields School of Business, four million dollar School of Health Sciences and Education experiential learning commons, and several athletics-related projects.  Commitments have been secured for the Connors Family Fine Arts Center, future home of the Resinski Black Box Theater.  The capital campaign for the School of Health Sciences and Education at Sullivan Hall progresses closer to conclusion.    

    Father is a member of the NCAA Division One Presidential Forum, member and past-Chair of the Northeast Conference Council of Presidents, and a member and past-Chair of the Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities.  In the first half of 2019, Father Malachi served as Minister Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province and Chairman of the Board of Franciscan University, where he led a successful presidential search.

    Prior to the Presidency, he spent twelve years at the University as an assistant professor of accounting (full-time and adjunct).  He previously served as the treasurer and vicar provincial of the Franciscan Friars, Sacred Heart Province.    

    Fr. Malachi professed vows as a Franciscan in 1999 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2004.  He has a PhD in higher education leadership from Capella University, a master’s degree in taxation from Arizona State University, and an undergraduate degree in accounting and Spanish from Franciscan University.  A certified public accountant, he worked for Coopers & Lybrand in Phoenix, Arizona, and Arthur Andersen in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a tax accountant prior to becoming a Franciscan.


    • B.A., Franciscan University
    • M. Tax., Arizona State University
    • M. Div., Washington Theological Union
    • Ph.D., Capella University Certified Public Accountant (Arizona)
    Board of Trustees

    The most prominent steward of this institution is the Saint Francis University Board of Trustees who are entrusted with overseeing the mission, vision, and advancement of the University.

    See the list of current Trustees.

      Presidents Cabinet


      • Very Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D., CPA, Loretto, PA, President, Saint Francis University


      • James P. Burke, M.D., Ph.D., Hollidaysburg, PA, President, Allegheny Brain & Spine Surgeons
      • Dr. Francine Endler, Duncansville, PA, Director of Curriculum, Hollidaysburg Area School District
      • Sherry D. Forney, Altoona, PA, CFO and Owner, Forney Financial Solutions, LLC
      • John P. Goodrich, Esq., Gibsonia, PA, President, Goodrich & Associates, P.C.
      • M. David Halpern, Esq., Duncansville, PA, President & Wealth Manager, Equity Concepts North, LLC & Mediator, Halpern Mediation/Arbitration
      • Shawn Long, Johnstown, PA, Founder and CEO, MedcomSoft/viLogics
      • Martin J. Marasco, Altoona, PA, President and CEO, Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation
      • Sabino J. Ranaudo, Lemont, PA, Chartered Financial Consultant, Wienken Wealth Management
      • Dawn M. Repko, M.D., Cresson, PA, Physician, Mainline Medical Associates
      • Sarah Schroeder, M.D., M.P.H., Loretto, PA, Physician, Pennsylvania Vein and Laser Institute
      • Deborah Shuster, Hollidaysburg, PA, CPA, Business Consultant and Wealth Manager, DSK Consultants & Seltzer Financial Strategies
      • James W. Takacs, V.M.D., Ebensburg, PA, Owner & Veterinarian, Ebensburg Animal Hospital
      • Daniel J. Wukich, Jeannette, PA, Executive Vice President, Quest Healthcare Development, Inc.

      Fr. Malachi Van Tassell UPDATED 

      Father Malachi Van Tassell T.O.R., Ph.D

      Title: President
       Phone: 814-472-3001

       Karan Powell Thumbnail

      Dr. Karan Powell 

      Title: Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs
       Department: Academic Affairs 
       Office Location: Scotus Hall 317 
       Phone: 814-472-3004 

      Frank Montecalvo

      Dr. Frank C. Montecalvo Jr.

      Title: Vice President for Student Development 
       Department: Student Development 
       Office Location: Padua Hall 231 
       Phone: 814-472-3002 

      Robert Crusciel

      Robert J. Crusciel '86 

      Title: Vice President for Advancement 
       Department: Advancement and Alumni Relations 
       Office Location: Raymond Hall 310 
       Phone: 814-472-3021 


      Jeffrey Savino 

      Title: Vice President for Finance  and Administration
      Department: Finance & Administration
      Office Location: Scotus Hall 322A 
      Phone: 814-472-3261