Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., was named 22nd president of St. Bonaventure University in March and officially took office June 20, 2022.
Dr. Gingerich was provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs at the University of Scranton from 2018 to 2022.
Prior to his role at Scranton, he spent more than 18 years at Cabrini University in suburban Philadelphia, teaching in the Department of Sociology and Criminology (2005-2018) and serving as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs (2014-2018). He has served as acting president at Scranton and Cabrini, both Catholic institutions.
Gingerich took office from Dr. Joseph Zimmer, who served as acting president since Dr. Dennis DePerro, 21st president of St. Bonaventure, passed away March 1, 2021.
A consistent voice for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, Gingerich advanced new initiatives and programs at Scranton related to faculty hiring and development, staff and administrator training, curricular improvements, and student support and engagement.
Gingerich was responsible for many cross-divisional institutional priorities at Scranton and Cabrini, including leading the development of strategic plans at both institutions.
He also led two successful Middle States self-study accreditation processes, strategic enrollment planning, campus master planning, the development of a one-stop student services center, and campuswide strategic planning efforts for both leadership development and global studies.
An avid supporter of student-centered program growth, Gingerich worked with faculty at Scranton and Cabrini to develop successful new undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the establishment of Cabrini’s Nerney Leadership Institute, Scranton’s Slattery Center for Humanities, and four mission-focused academic centers at Cabrini.
Gingerich’s four-year tenure as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs included a renewed focus on securing federal support for research and programs. In just the last two years, Scranton received more than $2 million in grants, including funding from NASA, the National Science Foundation and National Institute for the Humanities.
At Scranton, he championed a partnership with a regional state correctional facility that is enabling incarcerated individuals to earn an associate degree through courses taught on site by Scranton faculty. At Cabrini, he regularly taught an “Inside-Out” course that included Cabrini students and incarcerated students.
Gingerich earned master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Mennonite College. He began his teaching career at Bluffton University in Ohio from 2000 to 2005.
Gingerich regularly writes and presents on current issues in higher education, including mission-related initiatives, shared governance and the changing role of the chief academic officer. He is also co-executive editor of “Praxis: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Faith and Justice,” a scholarly journal founded to advance the intersection of theory and practice in the pursuit of social justice through faith traditions.
Much of Gingerich’s work prior to entering higher education was shaped by six years as a voluntary service worker in New Orleans, coordinating conflict resolution programming at the Twomey Center for Peace through Justice at Loyola University.
These experiences inspired his research and teaching interests in race and ethnic relations, cultural analysis, prisoner reentry, and incarceration reform.
“My experience in New Orleans was so transformational. I had only planned to do two years, but I loved the work so much I stayed,” he said. “That’s why I’m so passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. The experience of living in a diverse, urban community allowed me to reflect and challenge my place in the world.
“Those six years informed so much of what I’ve done at Cabrini and Scranton, and what I want to continue to do at St. Bonaventure. They helped me to understand cultures and systems and institutions more clearly.”
Fr. Kevin Mullen, O.F.M., a university trustee and provincial minister of Holy Name Province, said Gingerich clearly understands the essence of Saint Francis.
“When Jeff told us that Francis went out to live the gospel of Jesus Christ, that resonated with me. That’s the exact phrase that friars use to profess their way of life,” Fr. Kevin said. “He showed himself to have a Franciscan heart just through his own personal experiences of being sensitive to and responsive to people who are on the margins. This gives me great confidence that he not only understands our tradition, but will enrich it.”
A native of Parnell, Iowa, Gingerich and his wife, Betsy, are the parents of five children. Betsy has 30 years of experience in higher education, including many years at Alvernia University and Cabrini University. They live in Olean.