Saint Louis University

(Art Chimes)

If you happen to be near the Saint Louis Science Center planetarium at around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, look up. You might see a weather balloon.

Students at Saint Louis University are launching them as part of a study sponsored by the U.S. space agency NASA.

The mission aims to improve our understanding of air pollution and global climate.

(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.

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

Representatives for 36 business schools from across the globe are gathering on the campus of Saint Louis University this week for a conference on sustainability and business education.

More than 50 academic papers on sustainable business practices will be presented at the conference, which is focused on Jesuit business schools.   

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: “There is writing on that blackboard!”

“Hey, those people on stage have features on their faces!”

“I don’t really have to read the newspaper from across the room!”

(Sarah Skiöld-Hanlin/St. Louis Public Radio)

It has been just over three months since the federal spending cuts known as sequestration first took effect.

A handful of programs were spared — but not scientific research, which amounts to about $140 billion in annual government spending.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra found out, at universities here in St. Louis, some scientists are worried about what the budget cuts will mean for their research — and for their students.

"I had to let go of some science."

xxDale Singer | St. Louis Beacon People tour the new St. Louis University Law School building Downtown, with the St. Louis skyline and Gateway Arch in the background.
Dale Singer | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When students show up for the new school year at the Saint Louis University law school downtown, they won’t have to look too far to be reminded of what their education is all about.

They will make up the first classes in the new law school building at 100 N. Tucker Boulevard. What was an 11-story building, now with a 12th floor added, features dramatic views of downtown landmarks to the east and the civil and circuit courthouses to the south as well as the federal Eagleton courthouse.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Help Wanted:

Midwestern Jesuit university seeking new president. The leading candidate needs to be scholarly, collaborative and respectful of colleagues, able to resist a corporate attitude but still be skillful in raising money, recognize and deal with the coming crisis in higher education, handle disagreement without being disagreeable. President does not have to be a Jesuit but must appreciate, understand and be able to embody the Jesuit mission of the university.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Saint Louis University campus barely had time to digest the news that the Rev. Lawrence Biondi plans to leave after more than 25 years as president before its attention turned to the next issues:

Who will the new president be? What qualities should she or he have? How will the search process unfold? Whose voices will be heard? The university has given no details of how the search will proceed.

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.

Commentary: If Biondi is so bad, why didn't faculty object earlier?

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Now that the weather is nice again, students and faculty will be found outside protesting President Biondi as they did in the fall.

Protesting Fr. Biondi seems to be a new tradition at SLU. It certainly has not always been the case during his 25 year tenure.

This raises the reasonable question, why the strong objections to Fr. Biondi’s leadership now? He hasn’t changed, has he?

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of Saint Louis University, did not attend the school’s Faculty Senate meeting as originally scheduled on Tuesday, but his presence was definitely felt.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing the draft of a senate report that found Biondi’s leadership was subpar, a reason for what a task force found to be SLU’s decline in many areas. His style was characterized as management by intimidation.

Flickr/California National Guard

Saint Louis University is launching a study to explore whether two cancer medications could also help protect U.S. troops from bioterrorism attacks.

SLU is part of a consortium of institutions participating in the project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense.

(Saint Louis Athletics)

Jason Kertz is a 2009 graduate of Saint Louis University.  He is now a middle school teacher as well as baseball and basketball coach at Chaminade College Prep.

A song he posted earlier this week on YouTube already has several thousand views.  The song, “Started from the Bottom (Bills on Top),” is a cover of singer Mike Posner’s cover of rapper Drake’s song, “Started from the Bottom.”

Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio

Over a thousand Billikens fans showed up to cheer on their team at a watch party at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena.

The game was displayed on all four jumbotrons, with snacks and refreshments also being offered. The event was free and open to the public.

SLU is a 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, their highest seed in school history. Their success this season is attributed greatly to the recruiting of their late coach, Rick Majerus. Majerus passed away last December of heart failure, and their season has been unofficially dedicated in his memory.

Nurses Picket Outside SLU Hospital

Mar 11, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Close to 100 nurses from Saint Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital picketed in the cold outside of SLU Hospital on Monday morning, saying they are required to do too much with too little staffing and insufficient equipment.

Marchelle Bettis is an RN on the trauma unit, and works with critical victims of stabbings, shootings and accidents. She says it's hard for her and her coworkers to do their jobs appropriately with the current staffing.

James Cridland via Flickr

Updated at 7:26 PM

The interim dean of Saint Louis University's School of Law, Thomas Keefe, has resigned.

Keefe's resignation comes amid speculation that he was being forced to resign over a history of lewd and inappropriate comments.

A trial lawyer from the Metro East, Keefe was tapped to serve as dean by University President, Father Lawrence Biondi, following the protest resignation of former dean Annette Clark.