Press Release: Franciscan University announces search for seventh president

Franciscan University Marketing and Communications 

STEUBENVILLE, OH – Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR, president of Franciscan University of Steubenville since 2013, submitted his resignation to the Board of Trustees on April 5 “after a great deal of prayer.” The Board of Trustees accepted his resignation and announced it will begin the search for its seventh president immediately.

“We are thankful for Father Sheridan’s years of leadership and dedication throughout which he continued the Franciscan University tradition of exceptional education grounded in a passionately Catholic faith that enables our alumni to evangelize and transform the culture,” said Father Malachi Van Tassell, TOR, chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Father Sheridan will remain at Franciscan University until the end of the current academic year and then receive a new assignment from the Franciscan TOR Province.

During his six-year tenure at the University, Father Sheridan welcomed the largest incoming class in the history of the University in fall 2018, launched the Catechetical Institute, which reaches over 100 dioceses in the United States, as well as dioceses in Africa and Eastern Europe, and hosted three symposia celebrating the 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s visionary document on Catholic universities, Ex corde Ecclesiae.

“I feel called to continue my service to the Catholic Church in another capacity to be determined in consultation with our TOR minister provincial. I will miss my brother friars, the extended Franciscan University family and the great community surrounding it, but this is an appropriate time for the board to initiate a search for a new president who will be available to welcome the incoming class this fall,” said Father Sheridan.

“Franciscan University is a special and immensely spiritual place, and it was a blessing to serve in our mission to educate, evangelize, and send forth joyful disciples of Jesus Christ. This is and always will be a University dedicated to providing an education that is rigorous and demanding, vibrant and truly orthodox with an unwavering commitment to Catholic faith and tradition,” Father Sheridan continued.

“The sincerity and seriousness Franciscan students have for the faith will continue to inspire me, and I am especially thankful for the ministry and witness of the friars. In my years in higher education, as student, faculty member, and researcher of Ex corde Ecclesiae and the Code of Canon Law, I have not encountered members of a university community so committed to pursuing their beliefs. I leave Franciscan a better teacher and catechist and appreciative of the time to grow in this area of my ministry.”

“Any university president would readily admit that all the days are long; many are great days, and some are difficult. Being a Franciscan Friar has taught me to recognize that all those long days—the great days, and even the difficult days—are blessed days and all the more so when I am among my Franciscan Family,” said Father Sheridan.

The University expects a new president will be in place by the beginning of the fall semester.–Sheridan/


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