JOLIET — University of St. Francis President Michael J. Vinciguerra has announced his plan to retire on May 31, 2013, the end of the next academic year. He announced his plan May 8 after a campus-wide strategic planning meeting.
“For the last 10 years I have been enormously blessed to lead this remarkable university,” Vinciguerra said.
“When I arrived I had many goals in mind. I knew it was necessary to start by clearly setting a single course to follow, to develop enrollment plans and once and for all to state and prove that we were not abandoning, but rather expanding our Wilcox Street campus. We also had to build closer relationships with our founding congregation, our neighbors, our companion diocesan universities and our partners in government and industry.
“But most of all, it was imperative that we remain focused on our strength, being true to our Catholic Franciscan identity: to serve our students and community in the manner this tradition dictates. This identity is our strength and gives meaning and purpose to our existence.”
Vinciguerra was installed as the university’s eighth president in June 2002. Since arriving at USF, he has been active in the community and has encouraged numerous collaborative education and service projects.
Under Vinciguerra’s leadership, the university developed a plan that gives focus and direction in defining USF’s mission as having two components, Catholic Franciscan and Joliet’s Urban University. Putting the two together guides decisions of who to serve, how to serve, and where to serve.
Vinciguerra’s accomplishments include increasing undergraduate and resident student enrollment, acquiring and refurbishing the historic Motherhouse, campus expansion, including the relocation of the Art and Design Department into renovated facilities in the historic Rialto Square Theatre and the establishment of a federally funded health and wellness center to serve the greater community.
Also during his tenure, the university began two doctorate programs, in nursing and education; as well as master’s programs in social work and nursing and the new bachelor’s program in criminal and social justice.
Vinciguerra was born and raised in the Bronx, New York — home of his beloved Yankees. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Iona College and his Ph. D. in physical chemistry from Adelphi University. He completed a program in higher education senior administration offered by the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard University.
Vinciguerra began his professional career as an assistant professor of chemistry at the State University of New York campus in Farmingdale where he later served as dean of Arts and Sciences and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, along with serving twice as acting president at Farmingdale.
Vinciguerra and his wife, Grace, plan to remain in the Joliet area.