Friday, September 10, 2010

Fr. Timothy Lannon, SJ expected to leave Hawk Hill

Timothy Lannon, SJ expected to lead Creighton -

The Rev. Timothy Lannon, an Iowa boy who attended Creighton University and once served as president of Creighton Prep, is poised to be named Creighton University's next president.

Several people with knowledge of the selection process told The World-Herald that Lannon, currently president of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, will succeed the Rev. John Schlegel as Creighton's leader.

Creighton administrators declined to comment on Wednesday.

Kim Manning, an interim vice president at Creighton, said in a written statement that the search committee has been considering candidates and that no board action has been taken. The Creighton board meets Friday.

Lannon, who couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday, would become Creighton's 24th president.

He would take over from Schlegel, who has headed Creighton for 11 years and has announced that he plans to retire. Schlegel, 67, has been credited with boosting enrollment, pushing the campus eastward and heading a $400 million fundraising effort.

Lannon, a Jesuit priest, has been at the center of speculation at Creighton since Schlegel announced in mid-July that he would leave in 2011. Lannon grew up in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from Creighton University, where he was student body president. He holds a doctorate from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He was ordained in 1986.

Lannon, 59, was Omaha Creighton Prep's president for seven years before departing in 1995.

He served as a vice president at Marquette University in Milwaukee and became president of St. Joseph's in 2003.

St. Joseph's enrolls about 8,000 students and, like Creighton, has a solid basketball program. Creighton enrolls about 7,400 students.

Like Creighton, St. Joseph's is a Jesuit university that does well in academic rankings. St. Joseph's ranked in the top 15 master's-level universities in the North this year, according to U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges lists, and Creighton ranked as the top Midwestern regional university.

Lannon lived for a while at St. Joseph's in a university-owned apartment building occupied mainly by students. He was known for sharing with students leftover desserts from social events he attended or hosted.

Under Lannon, according to St. Joseph's website, the university improved student housing, the student center, science center and fieldhouse. St. Joseph's also bought a 38-acre campus from a private K-12 school when the school moved.

St. Joseph's also says that under Lannon, a revision of undergraduate curriculum took place, and facilities were created for programs in business ethics, Catholic bioethics and autism education.

World-Herald researcher Jeanne Hauser contributed to this report.

Fr. Lannon celebrating a Hawks' victory in Cincinnati with Vince Reilly and John Gill.

Fr. Lannon with Teron Dow, SJP '11 at St. Joseph's Prep's Father-Son Communion Breakfast.

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