News Story

Rob Vischer Named 16th President of St. Thomas

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December 19, 2022


Dear St. Thomas community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are pleased to announce that Rob Vischer has been selected to serve as the 16th president of the University of St. Thomas. The board unanimously chose Rob following a thorough nationwide search. He will assume the permanent role as president on Jan. 1, 2023.

Rob is known and loved by the St. Thomas community and highly regarded as a national thought leader. He is an effective relational leader with a long-standing dedication to the mission of the university and to the students we serve. Rob is someone who puts students at the center of every decision and action and cares passionately about the well-being of the students, staff and faculty in our community.

As many of you already know, Rob truly embodies the mission of St. Thomas to serve the common good and leads with humility and grace. His leadership style is to elevate others and forge effective working relationships that result in transformative impact. In his articulate, collaborative way, he leads others to leverage our inspirational mission to transform lives.

You can read more about this exciting news on the Newsroom. Click below to hear from Rob in his own words:

Rob Vischer 16th President of the University of St. Thomas

Our Excitement for St. Thomas

This is an exciting time for St. Thomas, and the opportunity for this institution to make an impact on our community has never been greater. Throughout our national recruitment for this position, we heard very positive feedback about the reputation of St. Thomas as an innovative institution with a bright future. St. Thomas stands out for its courageous initiatives that are increasing the impact and reach of a St. Thomas education. Rob will build upon the strong assets of this outstanding institution and lead it to even greater impact and reach. The board has put its faith in Rob as the leader who will continue the St. Thomas trajectory as the undisputed premier private university in our region.

Adapting to serve the needs of students, employers and the greater community is embedded in the culture at St. Thomas. The university has a strong fundraising campaign under way, recently opened a new Morrison Family College of Health and transitioned to a Division I athletics program. The new Schoenecker Center STEAM complex will expand interdisciplinary opportunities for students, we continue to cultivate the next generation of entrepreneurial problem solvers and innovators via the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship, and our Dougherty Family College is a national model on how to powerfully engage underrepresented students. These initiatives are laying the groundwork for an even stronger future for St. Thomas.

About Rob Vischer

Rob has been highly regarded for his role as dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he served for nearly 10 years. He helped leverage the law school’s mission to achieve critical objectives in student success and community impact. Over the course of his deanship, the law school dramatically improved employment outcomes for its graduates, built a global student body by establishing partnerships with law schools in more than a dozen countries, redoubled its commitment to whole-person professional formation, maintained its top 25 ranking for scholarly impact, and made racial justice core to its mission.

Rob was an inaugural recipient of the Minnesota Lawyer Diversity and Inclusion Award for his DEI work. Rob 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. Rob is married to Maureen, and they have three daughters – Sophia, Lila and Ava.  

Celebrate with Us

We want to share in the excitement of this announcement. After the holiday break, the Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee invite you to celebrate Rob as our new president at a reception on Monday, Jan. 9, at 3:30 p.m. in the Iversen Center for Faith. Look for more information soon about this event.

We hope that you and your families have a wonderful Christmas season. 

With warmest regards,

Pat Ryan

Chair, Ryan Companies

Chair, University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees

Dr. Amy Goldman

CEO and Chair, GHR Foundation

Chair of the Presidential Search Committee

Vice Chair, University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees