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.
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.
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.
Title: Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs
Department: Academic Affairs
Office Location: Scotus Hall 317
Title: Vice President for Student Development
Department: Student Development
Office Location: Padua Hall 231
Title: Vice President for Advancement
Department: Advancement and Alumni Relations
Office Location: Raymond Hall 310
Title: Vice President for Finance and AdministrationDepartment: Finance & Administration Office Location: Scotus Hall 322A
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