Father Lawrence Biondi

Stephanie Zimmerman

The scaffolding surrounding DuBourg Hall on the Saint Louis University campus is as much symbolic as it is structural.

While the administration building gets a facelift, the president’s office got a new occupant this week. Fred Pestello, SLU’s first non-Jesuit president, took over on Tuesday after a six-year career as president of Le Moyne College, another Jesuit institution in Syracuse, N.Y.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 1:41 p.m., Fri., March 21.

Saint Louis University has a new president, its first non-Jesuit president, to succeed the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, who stepped down amid controversy last year.

The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected Fred Pestello during a special meeting Thursday evening, according to a news release. He will begin his new position on July 1.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: After collecting opinions from a variety of campus groups, Saint Louis University has begun seeking a president who will be expected to “maintain SLU’s Jesuit core values and existing strengths, while building boldly and creatively on the university’s potential for future growth.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Leading the search for the new president of Saint Louis University, Jim Smith is focusing on lots of facets of the school’s operations – finances, academics, the climate on campus and the importance of its Jesuit mission.

But he isn’t too concerned about SLU’s drop in rankings by U.S. News & World Report – down to 101st in the most recent listing.

After all, Smith told the Beacon in an interview this week, “My company does those ratings.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Since the Rev. Lawrence Biondi left his post as president of Saint Louis University, strained relations between the faculty and the administration have improved, leaders of the Faculty Senate say.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last updated 3:50 p.m.

Saint Louis University's president Father Lawrence Biondi will be stepping down Sept. 1.

The fact that Biondi was to retire was announced in May, but the date Biondi would step down was not announced at that time.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

With dozens of alums and current students on hand, Saint Louis University’s new law school in downtown officially opened for business today.

Joe and Loretta Scott Hall - named for the couple who donated the office building where it's housed - is a stone's throw from the state and federal courthouses, as well as City Hall.

The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, who had announced he would be leaving the presidency of Saint Louis University after faculty and student votes of no-confidence in his leadership, will retire Sept. 1 to become president emeritus, the head of the university’s board of trustees said Friday.

Mayor Francis Slay and Fr. Lawrence Biondi share a light-hearted moment before the ribbon cutting at the new SLU law building.
Dale Singer | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The formal opening of Saint Louis University’s new law school building at 100 N. Tucker was hailed Friday morning as transformative for the school and for downtown, but the real essence of what it’s all about was captured in the invocation by the Rev. Chris Pinne, law school chaplain.

In his remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by faculty, staff, alumni and more, Pinne said the school is dedicated to the integrity of truth and justice, to helping people with any issue, “whether it be intellectual property or just how do I get out of this jam.”

The chairman of the Saint Louis University board of trustees has dismissed a call for an interim president to take the place of the Rev. Lawrence Biondi in the wake of reduced salary increases for faculty members who protested against Biondi’s administration.

J. Joe Adorjan, who began his third stint as the head of the SLU board in May, was responding to a suggestion by Ken Parker, a professor of theological studies at the university.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: An official with the American Association of University Professors has expressed concern over reports that Saint Louis University may have reduced the salary increases for faculty members active in recent protests against the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, outgoing SLU president.

An archway entrance to Saint Louis University
chuteme | Flickr | Creative Commons

Updated at 8:15 a.m. Friday to correct the organization Dr. Harris heads. It is the American Association of University Professors, not Professionals.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. to correct the size of the raise pool. It is $13.4 million, not $3.4 million.

Some faculty at Saint Louis University say they’re facing retaliation for speaking out against the leadership of outgoing president Father Lawrence Biondi.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Addressing one of the issues that prompted strife between faculty at Saint Louis University and its president, the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, the university says it will set aside $13.4 million for salary increases for faculty and staff in the upcoming school year.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dear Beaconites --

As the Beacon grows, so do people's expectations of us. This is good. We hold ourselves to the highest journalistic standards, and we're glad you expect no less.

But inevitably, we make choices that disappoint some people. Why didn't you cover this, they ask? Why did you miss that angle? This week, complaints arose on several fronts.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Even though the Rev. Lawrence Biondi has asked the Saint Louis University board of trustees to begin looking for his successor, he still inspires a mixed reaction – praise for what he has accomplished but also a wariness about the harm he could still do to those who have challenged his administration.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The first time Ken Parker stepped onto the Saint Louis University campus was in November 1990, when he attended an academic conference there.

“I have a distinct memory of stepping out of the Busch Student Center,” he recalls, “looking across Grand and thinking, ‘I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk on this campus every day.’ It wasn’t a very attractive place.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Once the initial flurry of news and reaction over the Rev. Lawrence Biondi’s decision to step down as president of Saint Louis University was over, the natural next journalistic step was a look back at his career: What did he do right? What did he do wrong? How will his tenure be remembered?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - The long-anticipated appearance by the president and the chairman of the board of Saint Louis University before its Faculty Senate Tuesday was described by professors as civil but not necessarily a session that answered all of their concerns about the SLU administration.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Faculty senate meetings at Saint Louis University have been open to reporters this year as the senate voted no confidence in the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, the school’s president, and sought his resignation.

But Tuesday, when Biondi and the new leaders of the SLU board of trustees are set to meet with the senate, no media will be allowed. A university spokeswoman said the meeting was being closed to anyone but members of the faculty “per agreement of those involved the meeting.” Biondi said earlier this month that he would be stepping down.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated with reactions from students and faculty, added video May 7

James Dreas, a senior studying aerospace engineering, was hustling to get to church on Sunday morning.

He said he’s not up on all the details, but the way things went down doesn’t sit well with him.

“It’s kind of a shame he had to leave, if he didn’t want to, that is,” Dreas said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Rev. Lawrence Biondi announced Saturday night at a gala celebrating his 25 years as president of Saint Louis University that he will leave his office and has asked the university's board to start searching for his successor.

The announcement comes at the end of a strife-filled year during which faculty members and students voted no confidence in his leadership.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The relationship between faculty and administration at St. Louis University is showing no signs of improvement, and that's putting it mildly.

In what has become a common occurrence on campus, faculty and students took to the streets in protest on Wednesday.  This most recent uproar came after a scheduled meeting between the faculty Senate, Biondi and Board of Trustees Chairman Tom Brouster was cancelled.

SLU Chairman Of The Board Steps Down

Apr 12, 2013
Reliance Bancshares, Inc.

The Chairman of the Board of St. Louis University is resigning.

Tom Brouster gave notice to the board, citing the need to spend more time at his day job and with family.

Brouster says his decision was not motivated by the turmoil that has engulfed the university over the past 8 months, including a no-confidence vote against SLU President, Father Lawrence Biondi.

Embattled SLU Vice President Steps Down

Dec 15, 2012
Kristen Miano, St. Louis University

Dr. Manoj Patankar, the embattled vice president of academic affairs at St. Louis University stepped down on Saturday.

Patankar’s tenure as vice president was marked by a groundswell of criticism. It was Patankar’s controversial changes to the university’s tenure structure that prompted a severe backlash from faculty.

The criticism soon grew to encompass University President, Father Lawrence Biondi, who stood by Patankar despite no confidence votes by faculty in both himself and Patanker.