Sister Jane Gerety to retire after 10 years as Salve Regina University president

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NEWPORT — Salve Regina University President Jane Gerety, a Religious Sister of Mercy, has announced her plans to retire in June 2019. Sister Jane informed faculty, staff and students of her decision during a university-wide meeting on April 4.

“This has been the best job in the world,” said Sister Jane, who will have served as president for a decade. “I’ve cherished my work, together with our faculty – of ensuring that every Salve graduate enters the ‘real world’ with the best chance to succeed—both personally and professionally.”

Sister Jane was inaugurated as Salve Regina’s seventh president in July 2009, and had previously served on the university’s board of trustees since 1995. The board has formed a national search committee, and during the next year Sister Jane will work closely with the university’s incoming provost and its new vice president for mission integration to ensure a seamless transition.

In a letter to the Salve Regina community, Sister Jane announced that she will continue to serve as President throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, and looks forward to working with the University community to see that the goals set throughout her tenure are accomplished

“I hope you know how proud I am to be the President of your future alma mater and how hard I will work throughout the remainder of my presidency,” Sister shared. “Salve Regina is truly a wonderful place, and even more so because you are here. You have changed in your time at Salve and so have I. Looking forward, we all share a bit of fear for the unknown and also hope for the excitement that is to come.”

Under Sister Jane’s presidency, Salve Regina launched a doctorate program in nursing, a master of fine arts degree program in creative writing, expanded its programs and experiential learning opportunities in business, engaged in ground-breaking research in the sciences and established a campus in Warwick to serve the academic needs of working adults in graduate and continuing education programs.

Sister Jane oversaw the $26 million renovation of O’Hare Academic Building, which was completed in 2017. The project added 23,000 square feet to the university’s flagship academic building and provided critical updates to educational spaces, including establishing a collaborative learning environment and renovating laboratories for programs in science and nursing. The university opened a digital forensics lab and incorporated cyber education across the undergraduate curriculum.

Sister Jane led a major campaign, “Scholars and Scholarships,” to reach 100 gifted, endowed funds valued at over $15 million to support students, faculty and research. More than $10 million was raised for the O’Hare Academic Building project, including a challenge grant to alumni that produced over $1 million and the highest alumni participation for any building project. Campus buildings and programs were dedicated and named with philanthropic support, including the Rodgers Family Department of Nursing, the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, and the John E. McGinty Lecture in History. In the last five years alone, more than $30 million in gift and future commitments were received. Under Sister Jane’s leadership, Salve Regina’s annual Governor’s Ball for Scholarships nearly doubled in support to over $500,000 as the university’s signature event.

Sister Jane is currently leading the university’s proposal for two new residence hall construction projects that are in the review process before the city of Newport. When built, the new housing will give the university the capacity to house all freshmen, sophomores and juniors on campus to fulfill Sister Jane’s vision to create a cohesive, vibrant campus community where students interact with each other as they study, work, play and serve together.

Sister Jane’s career in health care and education spans five decades. She served as the Executive Board Officer for Saint Joseph’s Health System in Atlanta before coming to Salve Regina. She entered the healthcare industry in 1992 when she joined Saint Joseph’s as Senior Vice President, Sponsorship and Corporate Compliance Officer.

Prior to her move to Atlanta, Gerety was the Academic Dean at Carlow College in Pittsburgh, where she also served as an Associate Professor of English, Director of the Public Leadership Program and a Learning Skills Specialist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in French from Mount Saint Agnes College in Baltimore, a master’s degree in French, from Middlebury College in Vermont and a doctorate in English from the University of Michigan. She has also taught at the junior high and high school levels.

“What I do know is that I am excited to see what the remainder of this academic year has in store, and I am excited for the new academic year ahead,” she said in her letter. “There is still much work to do on campus and much to accomplish through Salve’s mission. Together, I hope we can continue to learn, lead and make a difference.”