Sister Joan Lescinski to retire as president of St. Ambrose University

(KWQC/St. Ambrose University)

St. Ambrose University will be getting a new leader next year.

On Tuesday, Sister Joan Lescinski announced that she will retire as president of St. Ambrose effective August 2021. A national search for the 14th president in the university’s 138-year history will begin within the week, the university said in a media release.

Trustee alumni John Anderson and Renee Citera have been appointed to co-chair a Presidential Search Committee by the Most Rev. Thomas Zinkula, Bishop of the Diocese of Davenport and Chair of the St. Ambrose Board of Trustees.

WittKieffer, a global executive search firm, has been selected to assist in the search, which is expected to conclude by February 2021. WittKieffer also assisted in the selection of Sister Joan to succeed Edward Rogalski as St. Ambrose president in 2007, according to the release.

“It has been an incredible privilege for me to serve as the 13th president of St. Ambrose University,” Sister Joan said in the release. “In conjunction with the Board, faculty, staff, our alumni, and generous donors, we have been able to enhance the buildings and infrastructure that support our students’ academic and extracurricular experiences.”

She came to St. Ambrose after serving as president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana from 1998 through 2007, and previously served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of Fontbonne University in St. Louis, associate dean of academic affairs at Avilla University in Kansas City, Missouri, and as a professor of English at the College of St. Rose in her native Albany, N.Y., where she earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English literature in 1974 and 1970, respectively. She earned a doctoral degree in English literature from Brown University in 1981.

She has been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet since 1965.

After her successor is inaugurated, Sister Joan will remain in Davenport for a year to assist the transition, according to the release.

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