Saint Mary's President Resigns

Posted: Updated:
Janice Cervelli Janice Cervelli

Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame has announced President Janice Cervelli has resigned after nearly two-and-a-half years on the job. In a letter to faculty and staff, Board Chair Mary Burke says Provost Nancy Nekvasil will serve as interim president "for as long as needed."

The school did not give a reason for the resignation, but in her letter Burke thanked Cervelli for her contributions during her tenure. Cervelli began as president in June 2016. The South Bend native had previously served as dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and the University of Arizona. She was also the first female dean at Clemson University, where she led the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

Nekvasil has been with Saint Mary's since 1984 in various faculty and leadership roles. She was appointed provost and senior vice president of academic affairs last year.

Board of Trustees Chair Mary Burke's letter is below:

"Dear Faculty and Staff,

I wanted to make you aware of an immediate change in our Saint Mary’s family; earlier this week, Janice Cervelli informed the Board of Trustees of her intent to resign. We appreciate all that Jan has contributed to Saint Mary’s during her tenure as President and we wish her the best.

I’m pleased to tell you that the board has appointed Provost Nancy Nekvasil as Interim President, effective immediately.
We are blessed that Dr. Nekvasil will serve as Interim President for as long as needed. Her rich and esteemed history with Saint Mary’s College as an educator, experienced campus leader, administrator and student advocate speaks volumes. Her accomplishments qualify her for this interim position and empower her to support and uphold our mission and values. As most of you know, Nancy has been a Saint Mary’s faculty member since 1984 and was appointed Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs in 2017.

We are immensely thankful for you, our committed educators and leaders. Our focus remains positive and centers on our collective spirit to develop strong thinkers through our rigorous academics and supportive community. We are excited about the future of Saint Mary’s College which includes our 1,600 Belles and our alumnae and donor community. Through your work we have been able to grow the endowment to $191 million. Our strong financial status and new programs leave us well positioned to succeed in the upcoming years.

Please contact me with any questions. I encourage you to reach out directly if you have immediate concerns or would like to discuss or share feedback. We are a close-knit community and I depend on your candor and input as we navigate this transition.

Sincerely,

Mary L. Burke
Chair, Board of Trustees"

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