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University President Stepping Down in May

University President Stepping Down in May
University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.

University President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., announced in a video to the campus community in August his intention to step down at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Father Pilarz said he came to the decision to conclude his term as Scranton’s 27th president after assessing the progression of symptoms related to his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“During the past two years, my love (for the University) has only grown stronger and my sense of gratitude deeper. I love the University too much to ever jeopardize her future. That is why I think it is prudent to step aside at the end of this year. The University needs a strong and steady hand, and I pray for the success of the search. I ask you all to pray with me for God’s continued grace and for the University’s unique place in the landscape of Catholic and Jesuit education,” Father Pilarz said in a video message.


“During the past two years, my love (for the University) has only grown stronger and my sense of gratitude deeper..."


During the upcoming year, Father Pilarz plans to focus on the health and safety of the campus community related to the pandemic; ways in which the University can address systemic racism; the continued success of the Slattery Center for the Humanities; the launch of the University’s 2020-2025 strategic plan; and the advancement of a capital campaign to build the University’s endowment, support its aspirations and enrich the University’s Catholic and Jesuit mission.

“I would also like to direct my energy toward continuing to educate people about ALS, the urgent need for research and the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which protects people living with ALS,” Father Pilarz said in his message.

When Father Pilarz concludes his second term as president on May 31, 2021, he will have been the second-longest-serving president in the University’s history. Only J.A. Panuska, S.J. (1982-1998) has served a longer term as president.

Read about his tenure, here, and the search for the next president, here.

pilarzwithstudents.jpg

Students sent out support for Fr. Pilarz from their window after he announced he’d step down at the end of the academic year (left). Then he asked to meet them (above). 

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