Benedictine University president stepping down
The president of Benedictine University, Michael S. Brophy, has resigned from the Lisle-based school effective today, school officials said Thursday.
Brophy is planning a yearlong sabbatical to do research into leadership in higher education, Kelly Curtis Intagliata, director of government and press relations, said. His future position with the university, where he is a tenured professor, will be determined next summer.
Brophy came to Benedictine in 2015 from Marymount California University to replace longtime President William Carroll. His contract was extended last October to carry through 2022.
His resignation comes just two weeks before classes are scheduled to start on Monday, Aug. 27. The search for his replacement is expected to take six to nine months, Intagliata said.
James L. Melsa, chairman of the university's board of trustees, said trustees began negotiating with Brophy regarding his resignation in late July.
"Although the fall semester begins in a few weeks, we are confident in a successful transition of leadership to (interim president) Charles Gregory, who was the former Benedictine University executive vice president and recent Mesa campus CEO," Melsa said.
The board of trustees praised Brophy for the growth of enrollment at the school's Mesa, Arizona, campus, the introduction of new online programs, the development of strategic and facilities plans, the founding of a Mission Student Scholarship Fund and Benedictine's recent acceptance into NCAA Division II competition.
"It's been an honor to sustain the Benedictine mission during my tenure as president," Brophy said in a written statement. "Recent developments at the university prepare Benedictine to move to the next level as a first-choice regional Catholic University as well as a thought-leader in our sector."
But his tenure at the school has not been without controversy. Seven monks from Lisle's St. Procopius Abbey filed a lawsuit shortly after his appointment saying the university had denied their rights as members of the university, including the right to interview job candidates and vote for the university's new president.
Benedictine's former associate director of media relations, Elliott Peppers, filed a federal lawsuit against the school last summer alleging civil rights violations, discrimination and a hostile work environment.
The search for Brophy's replacement will begin immediately, officials said, with a committee headed by Daniel Rigby, vice chairman of the board of trustees. The committee will include members of the board, faculty, staff, administrators, students, the monks of St. Procopius and alumni.
Benedictine was founded in 1887 as a Catholic university and Brophy was its 11th president. The school serves more than 5,000 students in 59 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs.