CHICAGO — DePaul University announced today that the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., will step down from his position as president at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. After 13 years of leadership, Fr. Holtschneider will assume his tenured faculty position at DePaul, following a one-year sabbatical.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the president of DePaul University,” Fr. Holtschneider said. “In the past 12 years, the university has achieved many of the goals set for enrollment, finances, academic excellence, new programs, facilities, alumni organization, national reputation and, most important, its Catholic and Vincentian mission. A new leader can assist the institution to name and ambitiously pursue its next set of goals.”
The transition in leadership occurs after a decade of significant growth, new levels of academic achievement and national recognition for DePaul. During Fr. Holtschneider’s tenure, the university established two new colleges: the College of Communication and the College of Science and Health. The construction and acquisition of new buildings provided state-of-the-art facilities for the College of Communication, College of Education, School for New Learning, The Theatre School, liberal arts programs in Arts & Letters Hall and the DePaul Art Museum. Construction is currently underway on new facilities for the School of Music and a new events center in Chicago’s South Loop that will host DePaul basketball.
Fr. Holtschneider also led the university during the development and completion of its “Many Dreams, One Mission” capital campaign, which surpassed its goal of $250 million and raised $333 million. DePaul allocated the largest portion of the campaign to student scholarships.
DePaul’s current strategic plan, “Vision 2018: Dedication to Excellence, Commitment to Community,” launched in September 2013. Work on the university’s next strategic plan will begin during the 2017-18 academic year.
“Fr. Holtschneider has led the university through two successful strategic plans. His leadership has been transformational for DePaul,” said William Bennett, board chair. “When Fr. Holtschneider shared his plans with board leadership last March, we could not help but admire the selflessness of his decision to step down so that DePaul’s next strategic plan can proceed with its next leader in place. The board of trustees is enormously grateful for Fr. Holtschneider’s dedication to DePaul.”
DePaul Trustee and Vice Chair Jim Ryan will lead a search committee with representatives from the board, university administration, faculty, staff and students. The board invites members of the university community to submit candidate names for consideration for DePaul’s next president.
“The board is dedicated to conducting a comprehensive national search to find the best individual possible to lead the university,” Bennett said.
To assist the committee, the university has retained the services of the executive search firm, Witt/Kieffer. The board will consider both Vincentian and lay leaders.
Additional information regarding the search will be made available throughout the year as it becomes available.