Marquette Warrior: Pilarz Out as Marquette President

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pilarz Out as Marquette President

The official statement from the University is reproduced below. Marquette President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., has resigned.

This came as a shock to the campus.

And of course, everybody is asking “what’s the real story behind this?”

We don’t claim any inside sources, but a common assumption seems to be that Pilarz simply wasn’t a good fundraiser. He didn’t have the gregarious personality necessary to glad-hand alumni and others who might write big checks to Marquette.

He has not been around long enough for us to have a distinct impression of him, but we have liked what we have seen. He had the gumption to pull official sponsorship from the salacious FexSem seminar that was being sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center last spring.

More importantly, he canned Provost John Pauly after allowing him to serve a “decent interval.” Then he made it clear that, with Pauly’s replacement, there was going to be a fundamental change in how the University is run.

When Albert J. DiUlio, S.J. took over the presidency of Marquette in 1990, he shifted the balance of power in the University away from the “academic side” toward the “business side” of the organization. Where before the bureaucrats running the business affairs of the institution had been rather deferential to deans, department chairs and even individual faculty members, they began to dictate all kinds of decisions.

Pilarz has promised that the new Provost who replaces Pauly will be the “number two person” in the administration. That is, will dominate the business side of the institution.

That’s a massive change for the better. So we wish Pilarz well. And as we always must be at a time like this, we are apprehensive for the future of Marquette.

Official Statement

Dear alumni, parents and friends:

As chair of the Marquette University Board of Trustees, a fellow alumnus and Marquette parent, I’m writing tonight to let you know that Marquette University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., has informed the Board of Trustees of his resignation in order to pursue new apostolic work.

Father Pilarz informed the Board of Trustees of his resignation now to allow the university to begin its search to have a new president in place for the 2014-15 academic year. He will stay on as university president through the end of the first semester of the 2013-14 academic year, which ends on Dec. 14. Marquette will begin the search process for a new permanent president immediately.

In a news release sent out tonight, Father Pilarz said, “After 10 years as a university president, I believe the time has come to consider other apostolic opportunities for me as a Jesuit priest. I have made this decision after much prayer, discernment and conversation with religious superiors, my spiritual director and others whose counsel I have sought over the past three years.”

During his tenure as president, Father Pilarz guided Marquette into a newly reconfigured Big East conference, hired a dean for Marquette’s largest college, the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, and collaborated across campus with faculty, staff and students to develop a university-wide strategic plan. He also led significant renovations for the university’s historic core buildings of Johnston Hall, Marquette Hall and Sensenbrenner Hall, as well as an expansion of the School of Dentistry.

The entire Board and I thank Father Pilarz for his accomplishments and dedication to Marquette, our faculty, our students, and our alumni, parents and friends throughout the world. As Chair of the Board and a proud alumnus, I take immense pride and responsibility for ensuring the mission and innovative spirit of our Catholic, Jesuit tradition continues well into the future. The Board of Trustees and I have the utmost confidence in the university leadership currently in place and will work closely with them to map out a transition plan for the future success of this great university.


Charles M. Swoboda, Eng ‘89
Chair, Marquette University Board of Trustees

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Blogger Not a holy roller said...

This announcement made me sick to my stomach. I have no doubt that Fr. Pilarz was the right man to elevate Marquette to the next level, and as best I can tell, he was well on his way with the board's recent endorsement of his strategic plan. I'm a proud Marquette alum, and as both a New York City native and current resident, I loved The fact that he was an East Coast guy with a new vision for the institution. I've never supported the parochial midwestern way of thinking that prevails on campus, and was hopeful Pilarz would radically change the culture there. It's a shame he'll no longer have the opportunity to. If Marquette really aspires to be in the top 25% of US News national universities, as opposed to a finishing school for those who spent their elementary and secondary school careers in the archdiocese of Chicago and Milwaukee systems, the board better choose its next leader wisely.

8:59 PM  

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