Charles Gregory, a retired former Benedictine University employee, is now the University’s 2018-2019 interim president.
The former Benedictine University President, Dr. Michael Brophy, advised the Board of trustees about his step down from his position over the summer. The former president’s last day was August 10, 2018, according to a news release. Due to his contract, “Dr. Brophy will devote a year-long sabbatical to research regarding leadership in higher education…and he plans to return to teaching in 2019,” according to the release.
The reasoning behind Dr. Brophy’s step down has been vague.
“As I transition to a new life and identity at Benedictine, I will be thinking of all we’ve done together to sustain what the monks of St. Procopius Abbey committed to in 1887,” said Dr. Brophy in an email to campus.
Charles Gregory first came to the University in 1997. “Gregory served as Executive Vice President of Benedictine. More recently, he was the CEO of the Mesa Campus,” said the director of press relations Kelly Curtis Intagliata, in a release dated August 9.
“I spent close to 20 years with Benedictine. You don’t walk away from some place that’s important to you… If there’s a need and you can fill it- then go,” said Gregory when asked about why he took the interim position.
In 2017, Gregory retired, but continued in his career as a higher education consultant, doing “more than he intended to do”, traveling from San Francisco to New York, Gregory said.
Gregory will serve as interim president during the search for an individual to take a more permanent position. “I want to make this a positive place for the next people to follow me,” said Gregory.
A search committee headed by Mr. Daniel Rigby, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, will immediately engage in the process of determining Brophy’s successor. The committee will have representatives from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, students, the monks of St. Procopius Abbey, and alumni of the University. It is expected that the process will take six to nine months stated the August 9 release.
During the New Student Welcome Ceremony on Thursday, August 23, Gregory asked the students to raise their hands if they were worried about starting school. In a post interview Gregory stated:
“A lot of students raised their hands, and I’m a little worried too. I have the responsibility of the Abbey. I have the well- being of faculty and staff. I have the well- being of students weighing on my shoulders…I’m a little worried too.”
Gregory is not new to BU, so he already has an understanding of the needs of students and staff here.
“I want him [Gregory] to incorporate student rights into his job. I want him to actually listen to students’ requests. I want communication and we [students] like the idea of being in contact with someone in higher power,” said junior Hanna Hassan.
Dr. Brophy had previously given out his number to students, so for those who had a concern, students were allowed to text him. When Gregory was asked if he would do something similar, his response:
“I hope I circulate enough so students can just stop and talk to me. I can type something and it just comes out all wrong. I much rather see people face to face. That’s what we should do as part of a community, stop and talk about something that’s bugging you.”
With the understanding for continual communication among a higher power and students, Gregory also addressed something he believes the university needs to work on, which comes amidst the university’s struggles to meet enrollment numbers.
“I want to make sure our mission and brand is out there. Let the general public know what makes our graduates special. I think we can get our students and faculty to place us on the map, not just by putting an add in the newspaper… We are the best kept secret around,” stated Gregory.
Gregory has been chosen to serve the well- being of the community that is Benedictine. “I think time and history will determine that [if I am a good fit for this position because that I cannot determine myself],” said Gregory.
Gregory mentioned that he enjoys golf in his free time, and that his greatest career accomplishment includes his marriage of 50 years, his 3 kids, and 4 grandchildren.
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