Katie Conboy Named 14th President of Saint Mary's College

A message from President Helen Drinan

I'm writing today to share some very exciting news for our Provost Katie Conboy. This afternoon, in Notre Dame, Indiana, Katie is being named the 14th president of Saint Mary's College, effective June 1, 2020.

Headshot of Katie Conboy
Provost Katie Conboy

It is always bittersweet to say goodbye to someone who has invested her heart and soul into our institution and accomplished so much. At the same time, Katie is more than ready to assume a presidential post, and this couldn't be a better match. Saint Mary's is a nationally preeminent Catholic women's liberal arts college, and it is among a unique tri-college community that includes the University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College. As Katie told me, the opportunity offers her the perfect combination of her past experiences: a Catholic college with a focus on women's education. It also will move her closer to family and return her to a part of the country she knows so well. As many of you know, Katie completed her PhD in English Literature at the University of Notre Dame, and she and her husband Tom were married in the Basilica on campus.

Katie was appointed Simmons Provost and Senior Vice President in July 2013, and since that time, she has been integral to our transformation here at Simmons. During her tenure, Katie's responsibilities included serving on the President's University Strategy Team, leading the Deans Council, and executing overall responsibility for Academic Affairs—including the curriculum, the deans and faculty of the four colleges, and all academic support services, such as Registrar, Library, Technology, Advising, Tutoring, Global Education, the Center for Excellence in Teaching, and the Career Education Center.

I believe the jewel in Katie's crown of accomplishments is the redesign of our institution—moving Simmons from College to University status—creating four new Colleges, and hiring their deans. It was her vision to have our colleges be interdisciplinary and to charge all of us to think about our undergraduate and graduate education in a holistic manner.

Thanks to Katie's leadership, we are seeing the fruits of this re-design with collaborations across the four colleges that include enhanced undergraduate STEM education; inter-professional education for graduate students; media and information sources in the age of fake news and information overload; leadership development; and health equity, among others.

In addition, Katie was responsible for leading the faculty in a complete revision of the undergraduate common curriculum, launching six online graduate programs, and leading the institution-wide strategic planning process that produced Redesigning Simmons: The Plan for 2022, the current strategic plan for the university.

I have come to rely on Katie's insights and counsel as I know many of you have. I have no doubt her new colleagues at Saint Mary's will reap the benefits of her expertise and wisdom.

As we are in a transitional leadership moment at Simmons, we will hire an interim Provost as we begin a search for a new provost.

While we have three months to plan a proper send-off for Katie, please join me now in congratulating our colleague and friend on this exciting opportunity and thanking her for her dedicated service to Simmons.

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