The Mount St. Joseph University Board of Trustees has named Joel Thierstein, J.D., Ph.D., interim president effective June 1, 2015, while the University conducts a national search to replace Tony Aretz, Ph.D. Aretz announced his resignation earlier this year after seven years as president.
Thierstein has served as executive vice president and provost at the Mount since August 2014. Previously, he was provost and vice president for academic affairs at Kentucky State University, and the associate provost at Rice University. He also served as the senior advisor and counsel to the undersecretary at the United States Department of Education in Washington, D.C. in 2011. Thierstein’s significant higher education background includes serving on the faculties at Oregon State, Baylor, Purdue Calumet, and Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He holds a law degree, as well as a Ph.D., from Syracuse University.
“This interim appointment has the support and endorsement of the Board of Trustees and the leadership of the Sisters of Charity and will be in effect until a new president is identified,” said Ken Stecher, chairman of the Board of Trustees. “Our community has already experienced the positive impact of Dr. Thierstein’s higher education and leadership experience during this past academic year. The year ahead will be one of progress, not maintenance.”
The Mount officially became a University on July 1, 2014. Since then, the University has graduated its first classes of graduate nursing programs in the MSN special tracks and the DNP program, and was approved to develop a Physician Assistant master’s degree program.
“I look forward to serving the Mount as interim president, continuing the forward momentum as we approach our centennial anniversary,” said Thierstein.
The Board of Trustees is in the process of beginning a search for the new president this summer. The search process will be communicated with the campus and the community through regular communications. A presidential search committee, comprised of various constituencies of the Mount community, is being assembled.
Mount St. Joseph University is an undergraduate and graduate Catholic university that provides an interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curriculum emphasizing values, service and social responsibility.