Jeffrey Senese had been Saint Leo’s acting president since April.
ST. LEO — Jeffrey Senese has been elected president of Saint Leo University, becoming the 10th person to hold the office since 1959, when the Catholic institution was reorganized as a college.
Senese, who joined Saint Leo in January as provost, had been serving as acting president since April 30, when former President William Lennox Jr. retired.
“Although Jeff was named as acting president just three months ago, his leadership and forward thinking made it clear to the board of trustees that we could not find a better fit for our next president,” states Mary O’ Keefe, board chair, in a press release. “He has spearheaded the reorganization of senior leadership, created plans for campus expansion and transformed the new strategic plan into an action plan that will lead Saint Leo University into the next stage of growth nationally and internationally.”
Prior to joining Saint Leo, Senese served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, one of the nation’s largest Franciscan universities. According to the release, he has also held senior academic leadership positions at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.; Philadelphia University; Penn State Wilkes-Barre; and Mount Ida College in Newton Centre, Mass.
“When I came to Saint Leo University as provost in January, I knew we had great history and a two-decade tradition of cutting-edge leadership,” Senese states in the release. “I am now more confident than ever that we stand on the edge of greatness. The faculty and staff welcome innovation, challenge status quo and believe every year brings the opportunity to be better than before. I consider it a privilege to lead Saint Leo’s next phase of innovative and expansion.”