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What attracted you to Bona's?
For all of my career -- which spans four
decades -- I have been aware of St. Bonaventure
and its reputation for academic excellence and
its commitment to a values-based education.
That is what attracted me to the opportunity;
what convinced me was the confirmation of my
impressions I received when I visited campus --
quality people imbued with a deep love for this
institution who communicate their passion for
St. Bonaventure not only in word but in deed.
What are the biggest issues facing higher
education in America, especially at small,
religiously affiliated privates?
As St. Bonaventure's data clearly reveals, what
is true elsewhere is also true at St. Bonaventure
-- we need to help prospective students under-
stand that our value proposition and the excel-
lence of our outcomes make their investment in
a St. Bonaventure education a good one. More
prosaically, however, is also helping them solve
the affordability puzzle. Schools like St. Bonaven-
ture have to demonstrate their value to an in-
creasingly price-sensitive student population. On
St. Bonaventure's side, in addition to the obvious
need to control expenses, is the need to build
the endowment to a level sufficient to support
student financial aid.
You said "demography is not destiny" in
one of your interviews. What do you
mean by that?
If one simply looks at the demographic data for
Western New York, one might lament the future.
But I don't. As someone once said to me, "There
is always room for quality people (quality institu-

Campus News
with Interim President
Dr. Andrew Roth
Dr. Andrew Roth begins work Aug. 1 as in-
terim president and will serve during the
2016-17 academic year. Former president and
CEO of Notre Dame College in suburban
Cleveland, he has more than 40 years of expe-
rience in higher education. His tenure at Mer-
cyhurst College included roles as vice president
for academic affairs, chief information officer,
vice president for enrollment, director of ad-
missions, and dean of admissions and financial
aid. For more on his background, visit
tions) to find a seat at the table." If St.
Bonaventure is open to change, open
to opportunity, open to the hard work
seizing those opportunities entails,
then it will prosper. Creativity and per-
sistence always trump demography!
What tools will you depend on
most to be successful in your
I believe in "MBWA," which is man-
agement by walking around and asking
questions. So, the "tools" I will count
on are my ability to communicate,
which begins by listening, my ability to
synthesize what I have heard and my
ability to motivate. Leadership is all
about people -- I enjoy working with
people and have been very fortunate
that many quality people have enjoyed
working with me.
A yearlong effort to develop a
strategic plan just concluded.
What do you offer SBU in helping
to implement that plan?
My motto is "Think big, start small,
move fast." The big thinking has been
done. Now we need to identify 2-3
"small" items that can be implemented
to sustain the positive momentum. In
addition, one of the things I have done
at every institution with which I have
been associated is implement new pro-
grams ranging from the academic to the
cocurricular to the extracurricular, plus
those that were purely organizational or
administrative. I look forward to bringing
that experience to bear in helping the
university to implement its strategic vi-
What would you say to alumni and
university friends interested in
supporting you during this year?
They can help by telling the Bonaven-
ture story to any and all. It is a great story
that needs to be told at every opportu-
nity. By sharing their own experiences of
the university, they not only make the
story come alive but they spread the good
news of a Bonaventure education and its
life-enhancing experience. In short, they
can be evangelists for St. Bonaventure.
Who are your education and
leadership inspirations?
Having learned a great deal from the
Sisters of Mercy and the Sisters of Notre
Dame, I am looking forward to learning a
new charism working with the Francis-
cans. I was educated by Jesuits, so the Je-
suits were/are an inspiration. Also, I have
a bust of George Washington in my den
-- he is one of my heroes. I'm an ama-
teur historian who loves colonial Ameri-
can history, the history of the American
Revolution and the Early Republic. Wash-
ington is a major part of that. He was a
natural leader, a visionary, a man of great
courage, a lifelong learner and a man of
great integrity.
Name three people (dead or alive)
you'd like to take a road trip
cross-country with?
Benjamin Franklin, because his inquisi-
tive mind would want to understand
everything; George Washington because
his resolute courage and ability to adapt
to changing circumstances would ensure
we'd arrive at our destination; and
Dorothy Day because she'd keep us
grounded. Also, Mel Brooks because he'd
make sure we didn't take ourselves too