(St Paul, MN) — Dec. 19, 2022 — The University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees has selected Robert K. Vischer as the 16th president of the 137-year-old Catholic university. Vischer, a longtime law school educator who became interim president this summer, will be the second layperson to lead Minnesota’s largest private university when he takes permanent office Jan. 1, 2023.
Vischer was dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law from 2013-22.
“Rob is known as a highly effective relational leader with a strong dedication to the mission of the university and someone who puts the students at the center of every decision and action,” said Dr. Amy Goldman, CEO and chair of the GHR Foundation, chair of the Presidential Search Committee and vice chair of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees. “The board has put its faith in Rob as the leader who will continue the St. Thomas trajectory to become the undisputed premier private university in the Midwest.”
Since transitioning from college to university in 1990, St. Thomas has opened two additional campuses, several schools and colleges, numerous facilities and became the first modern NCAA program to transition from Division III to Division I athletics.
This fall, the university welcomed its most diverse class of first-year students and celebrated record fundraising for programming across the university, including construction of what will be its largest academic building.
“I am humbled to be able to build on the mission-centered stewardship of our past presidents who stayed true to our mission and focused relentlessly on doing right by our students,” Vischer said. “The mission of St. Thomas has a remarkable capacity to inspire because it calls us to a reality that is bigger than ourselves. I am excited about what we can do together to transform lives and advance the common good.”
During Vischer’s deanship, the law school improved employment outcomes for graduates, partnered with law schools in over a dozen countries, redoubled its commitment to whole-person professional formation, maintained its top 25 scholarly impact ranking, and made racial justice core to its mission.
Vischer received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from the University of New Orleans, and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.