Leadership for Saint Mary's Future

The cabinet serves in an advisory role to the president of the university regarding the administration of the university and planning for the future of Saint Mary’s.

At the direction of the president, the cabinet works to execute, monitor, and evaluate the yearly implementation of initiatives of the university's strategic plan.

Vice Provost for Enrollment Management

Timothy Albers

The vice provost for Enrollment Management is the university’s strategy and policy leader on all matters related to undergraduate, graduate, and online enrollment. Reporting to the provost and dean of Faculties, the vice provost works collaboratively with the provost, deans, faculty, and other senior leaders to coordinate all enrollment activities through a comprehensive long-term enrollment strategy that aligns with the university’s strategic plan and Lasallian educational mission. 

Chief of Staff

Andrew Dirksen

The chief of staff provides overall support for the operation of the president’s office and serves as a senior advisor to the president on a wide variety of administrative and executive duties, special projects, and initiatives involving the president’s office and its priorities. The chief of staff, together with the support of the President’s Cabinet, executes university-wide projects undertaken by the president, and handles questions, concerns, issues, and requests on the president’s behalf. 

Vice President for Inclusion and Human Dignity

Leon Dixon, MBA

The vice president for Inclusion and Human Dignity will lead the university's efforts to establish an innovative culture of diversity, inclusion, and engagement within the Lasallian Catholic tradition. The vice president is charged with engaging faculty, staff, and students in building a welcoming culture of hospitality, and collaborating across the university in creating, implementing, and monitoring programs to support human dignity and inclusion efforts.

Vice President for Character, Virtue, and Ethics and Director and Endowed Chair of the Hendrickson Institute

Matthew Gerlach, Ph.D.

The vice president for Character, Virtue, and Ethics will lead efforts to advance the university’s vision around character education and virtue formation with constant focus on the university's mission to awaken, nurture, and empower learners to ethical lives of service and leadership. Working with all areas of the university, the vice president will pilot opportunities to transform teaching, learning, service, scholarship, and more through both in-person and technology platforms that will further develop and highlight Saint Mary’s as a leader in ethics, character, and virtue education.

Vice President for Student Affairs

Timothy Gossen, Ed.D.

The vice president for Student Affairs preserves, initiates, and inspires direct active engagement between the student community and the distinctive Catholic and Lasallian identity and mission of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Through direct reports, the role leads the First Generation Initiative (FGI), Student Success, student athletics, campus safety, and residence life. 

Vice President for Advancement

Gary Klein

The vice president for Advancement works collaboratively to develop, implement, and achieve strategic plans for increasing philanthropic support for the university; provides leadership and direction for major gifts, corporate and foundation gifts, planned giving, annual giving, donor relations and prospect research.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel

Ann Merchlewitz, J.D.

The senior vice president serves as the university secretary to support the activities of the Board of Trustees by managing the work of the board and serving as the liaison between the board and the university administration. The general counsel oversees, identifies, and resolves legal issues within the university. 

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Benjamin Murray, CPA

The executive vice president and chief financial officer of the university oversees all the departments accountable for operations including budgeting and finance, buildings and grounds, business office affairs, information technology, geospatial services, and human resources. 

Vice President for Mission and Ministry

Marisa Naryka, Ed.D.

The vice president for Mission and Ministry preserves and offers direct active engagement with the distinctive Catholic and Lasallian identity and mission of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Vice President for Marketing and Communication

Kelly Shannon

The vice president for Marketing and Communication supports the strategic priorities and operational goals of the university. Upholding and enhancing Saint Mary's University's reputation means telling its distinct story in a clear, consistent, and compelling way that engages and interests its myriad audiences. This is done through collaboration and strong messaging across marketing, communications, and public relations channels, including digital, multimedia, and print mediums.

Provost and Dean of Faculties

Brian Schmisek, Ph.D.

The provost and dean of Faculties provides the academic vision, leadership, direction, and evaluation for all academic activities and faculty affairs of the university. Through the deans of their respective schools, the provost leads the long-range academic planning, budgeting, curriculum, enrollment, and program development for the university.  In addition, the provost oversees all related programs, faculty affairs, and academic support functions for the university. 

Senior Vice President for University Initiatives and Special Advisor to the President

Brother Robert Smith, FSC, Ph.D.

The senior vice president for University Initiatives advises the president on a wide variety of strategic, academic, and mission-related initiatives and special projects involving the university and the president’s priorities.  The individual in this role represents the president internally and externally as needed to boards, foundations, colleges and universities, and other entities with significant university relationships.