New St. Thomas president Dr. Julie Sullivan a ‘sign of the times - KMSP-TV

New St. Thomas president Dr. Julie Sullivan a ‘sign of the times'

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Dr. Julie Sullivan (University of St. Thomas) Dr. Julie Sullivan (University of St. Thomas)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Dr. Julie Sullivan has been named president of the University of St. Thomas, becoming the first woman and first lay person to hold the position in the school's 128-year history.

Sullivan comes to St. Thomas from the University of San Diego, where she served as executive vice president and provost.

"Yes, I am a woman, and a Catholic lay person," Sullivan said. "Sign of the times."

Sullivan attended the University of Florida and has held teaching and administrative positions in Oklahoma, North Carolina and California.

"My hope is for all Tommies to be inspired to challenge themselves and change our world," Sullivan said.

A 13-member search committee of St. Thomas trustees, faculty and staff members unanimously recommended Sullivan to the board, which elected her during its winter meeting on the St. Paul campus.

Father Dennis Dease, who will retire June 30 after 22 years as the school's president, called Sullivan "a star" and "a great fit for St. Thomas."

Sullivan humbly returned the praise.

"I'm a star following a star," she said.

Dr. Sullivan and her husband Robert have four children. Read more about her background, and review her C.V. and accomplishments at

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