University Leadership

Leadership at Saint Francis University

Saint Francis University is sponsored by the Franciscans of the Third Order Regular and governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of both laypeople and Franciscans. 

University President

Fr. Malachi Van Tassell Image 

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

Assumed the office of President at Saint Francis University on May 12, 2014, with his official inauguration taking place on October 4, 2014. 

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 vital academic programs in health sciences and business. In addition, the university made significant investments in STEAM programs, including engineering and the arts, and affirmed its commitment to intercollegiate athletics competition at the NCAA Division One level.

In 2019, the university launched Francis Worldwide School of Continuing Studies, a school dedicated to offering career-focused, flexible programs for students looking to continue their education.  In his tenure, Saint Francis University has created several new academic programs. The School of Continuing Studies recently launched its first research-based doctorate program delivered in a hybrid format for working professionals across various disciplines.  A commitment to a relevant, market-driven academic portfolio is a hallmark of Father’s leadership.   

Successful capital projects include the Shields School of Business, School of Health Sciences and Education experiential learning commons, and several athletics-related projects.  In the summer of 2022, construction will commence for the Connors Family Fine Arts Center, future home of the Resinski Black Box Theater and a newly renovated building for the Occupational Therapy program. In addition, significant progress continues on the capital campaign for the School of Health Sciences and Education at Sullivan Hall and the Immaculate Conception Chapel.  

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.  Previously, 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 Ph.D. 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 before 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.  The Board of Trustees was established in 1967, replacing the former Board of Control, which had been comprised solely of Franciscan friars.


Chairman of the Board

  • Very Rev. Joseph Lehman, T.O.R., Ph.D., Loretto, PA


  • Very Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D., Loretto, PA


  • Dr. James Burke, Class of '88, Altoona, PA, President of Allegheny Brain & Spine Surgeons
  • John "Jack" Eckenrode, Class of '74, Madison, CT, Global Chief of Security, State Street Bank (ret.) and Agent in Charge of Philadelphia FBI (ret.)
  • Rev. Dominic Foster, T.O.R., Steubenville, OH, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Dr. Debra Friedrich, Bradenton, FL, Nurse Practitioner
  • Rev. Daniel Klimek, T.O.R., Steubenville, OH, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Scott Miller Lammie, Pittsburgh, PA, UPMC Health Plan (ret.)
  • Paul S. McGrath, Jr., Class of ’79, Pittsburgh, PA, Founder and Senior Managing Director, McGrath McCall, P.C.
  • Brittni Smallwood Moore, Class of 2008, Upstate NY, VP of Marketing, CenterState CEO
  • Dr. Larry Nulton, Johnstown, PA, Founder of Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center,  Peerstar LLC, and Nulton Aviation Services
  • The Hon. Judith Ference Olson, Class of '79, Pittsburgh, PA, Superior Court of Pennsylvania
  • Frank Pasqualone, Newtown, PA, COO Theravance Biopharma, Inc.
  • Rev. Gregory Plow, T.O.R., Washington, D.C., Saint Louis Friary
  • Teresa Kaminski Polley, Class of '82, Norwalk, CT, President and CEO Financial Accounting Foundation
  • Jean Payne Rogers, Class of '82, Glen Burnie, MD, Retired, Social Worker, Geriatrics
  • Paul Sansone, Class of '88, Atlanta, GA, Partner, TechCXO
  • Dr. Sarah Schroeder, Loretto, PA, Physician, PA Vein & Laser Institute
  • Rev. Jonathan St. Andre, T.O.R., Steubenville, OH, Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Peter Stevenson, Class of '82, Jupiter, FL, CEO Latisys
  • Stephen Subasic, Class of '90, Davidson, NC, Executive Coach & HR Consultant, Bedwell Talent Advisory 
  • John Sullivan, Class of ’67, Newtown, PA, Retired President, ABB North America Power Products and Systems Segment
  • Dr. James Takacs, Class of '82, Ebensburg, PA, Owner, Ebensburg Animal Hospital
  • Joy Thoma, Class of '80, Purchase, NY, Senior VP for HR International Markets, Mastercard International
  • Bradley Walent , Class of '96, Grandview Heights, OH, Lawyer, Kayne Law Group
  • Rev. Patrick Whittle, T.O.R., Washington, D.C., Saint Louis Friary
  • Rev. Vincent Yeager, T.O.R., Steubenville, OH, Franciscan University of Steubenville

President's Cabinet


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

President's Cabinet Members

  • Amy M. Bradley, President and CEO, Cambria Regional Chamber, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Sean Donoghue ’79, Pittsburgh Area Sales Manager, Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co., Murrysville, Pennsylvania
  • Francine Endler, Ed.D., Executive Director, Central Intermediate Unit 10, West Decatur, Pennsylvania
  • James E. Foerstner, Esq. ’81, Owner, James E. Foerstner, Attorney At Law, LLC, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sherry D. Forney ’93, Chief Financial Officer/Owner, Forney White & Wagner Health Insurance Agency, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Jonathan C. Gleason, Area Vice President, Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc., Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • John P. Goodrich, Esq. ’83, President, Goodrich & Associates, P.C., Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
  • Patrick J. Guinee, Esq. ’91, Senior VP, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, L. B. Foster Company, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • M. David Halpern, Esq., President & Wealth Manager, Equity Concepts North, LLC. Mediator, Halpern Mediation/Arbitration, Duncansville, Pennsylvania
  • Leah S. Kessler ’14, Senior Vaccines Specialist at GSK, Bausch & Lomb, Stamford, Connecticut
  • Martin J. Marasco ’68, President and CEO (retired), Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation, Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • William W. Marshall, M.Ed., Superintendent, Penn Cambria School District, Cresson, Pennsylvania
  • The Hon. Debra M. H. McLaughlin ’90, Judge, West Virginia 23rd Judicial Circuit, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
  • Jerry Moschgat, R.Ph., Owner, Mainline Pharmacy, Portage, Pennsylvania

  • Sabino J. Ranaudo ’72, Chartered Financial Consultant, Wienken Wealth Management, Lemont, Pennsylvania

  • Dawn M. Repko, M.D. ’94, Physician, Mainline Medical Associates, Cresson, Pennsylvania
  • Anthony Sanford, MPA ’04, Assistant Director, Digital Inclusion at City of New York, New York, New York
  • Michael J. Stief, III, Esq. ’87, Principal, Jackson Lewis P.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Linda Thomson, President, Johnstown Area Regional Industries, Inc., Johnstown, Pennsylvania
  • Willard A. Wilkinson, IV, President & Owner, Wilkinson Bus Lines, Inc., Cresson, Pennsylvania
  • Philip M. Woo, Jr., D.M.D., Owner, Philip M. Woo Dentistry, Ebensburg, Pennsylvania
  • Daniel J. Wukich, Executive Vice President, Quest Healthcare Development, Inc., Jeannette, Pennsylvania


Fr. Malachi Van Tassell Profile Image

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

Title: President
 Phone: 814-472-3001

Bob Cruciel Profile Image

Robert J. Crusciel '86 

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

Erin McCloskey Profile Image

Erin McCloskey

Title: Vice President
Department: University Communications and Marketing
Office Location: Scotus Hall 205A
Phone: 814.472.3938

Dr. Michael McGinnis

Dr. Michael B. McGinnis 

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

Frank Montecalvo Profile Image

Dr. Frank C. Montecalvo Jr.

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

Jeff Savino Profile Image

Jeffrey Savino 

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

Fr. Matthew Simons Profile Image

Father Matthew Simons, T.O.R

Title: Director             
Department: Mission Integration 
Office Location: Scotus 301E
Phone: 814.472.3343                   

Steven Soba Profile Image

Steven Soba

Title: Vice President
Department: Enrollment Management
Office Location: Saint Francis Hall 113
Phone: 814.472.3109