Trustees Unanimously Extend Assumption President’s Contract, Citing Bold Leadership and Strength of Academic Programs
The Assumption College Board of Trustees announced that it has extended the contract of Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., to remain in his position as president of the institution for an additional five years, beginning July 1, 2015. Cesareo, who was installed as the College’s 16th president in summer 2007, will continue in his role through June 30, 2020.
“We recognize President Cesareo’s unwavering commitment to the mission of Assumption College and his untiring focus on enhancing the quality and excellence of the College’s academic reputation,” said Board of Trustees Chairman Frederick L. Bayon, D.M.D. ’65. “During these challenging times for higher education, President Cesareo has demonstrated steady and responsible leadership. With a new, thriving campus in Rome, new programs and recognition of the College’s exemplary academics by prestigious organizations, we strongly support his vision and look forward to the future growth of Assumption College.”
Since his arrival at Assumption, President Cesareo has exhibited creative and innovative thinking, which has resulted in new academic programs such as the first-year Tagaste Program, SOPHIA (the Sophomore Initiative at Assumption) and the new Rome campus, the latter becoming a reality in spring 2013. In addition, he has raised nearly $15 million for Assumption, which includes the full funding of the Tinsley Campus Ministry Center—a long-awaited addition and asset to the campus.
“I am grateful to and honored that the Board of Trustees has invited me to continue to lead Assumption College and that it recognizes the collective work of the dedicated administration, faculty and staff,” said President Cesareo. “Leading the College for the past seven years has been a privilege as we, as a campus community, tirelessly work to provide our students excellent academic, service and engaging co-curricular opportunities. Assumption will continue to thrive as an institution that is grounded in the liberal arts and enlivened by the affirmation of faith and reason.”
Under President Cesareo’s leadership, articulation agreements with national universities as well as new majors and minors such as criminology, education and sports management were established, providing Assumption students increased academic paths to explore. These developments have had direct impact on the College’s U.S. News & World Report ranking, which advanced eight spots to number 30 in the latest survey. The Princeton Review consistently identifies Assumption as one of the best colleges in the northeast.
“President Cesareo has demonstrated bold leadership in the area of college affordability and exceptional academics through his support for the Assumption Assurance program, which addresses the national issue of college affordability and accessibility—challenges facing many families,” said Bayon. “He has strategically positioned Assumption as a competitive institution among our peers through his emphasis on raising academic standards and student achievement. Additionally, we are impressed by his efforts to strengthen the College’s Catholic identity that forms graduates known for critical intelligence, thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service.”
Demonstrating a personal and institutional commitment to sharing resources with local, regional and national organizations, President Cesareo serves on several boards, including the Sr. Thea Bowman Black Catholic Education Foundation, Adopt-a-Student Program in the Diocese of Worcester, the St. Bernadette School Advisory Board, Board of Visitors of Worcester Academy and the New England Center for Children. Last year, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, appointed President Cesareo to chair the National Review Board, which advises the bishops’ Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection.
“The College’s reputation in New England and beyond has enjoyed a newfound prominence as President Cesareo shares his wide breadth of expertise and the value of an Assumption education,” Bayon noted. “Certainly, the president has solidified his standing as a well-respected leader throughout the Worcester community.
“The Board of Trustees looks forward to President Cesareo’s continued leadership of Assumption College, under which we are confident that the institution will achieve greater levels of success and build on its foundations of excellence,” he added.
Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College