Saint Louis University

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Have you heard the one about the small town that had a hard time supporting one lawyer but had no trouble supporting two?

That joke drew a big laugh from Mike Wolff, the new dean of the Saint Louis University law school. At the end of a strife-filled year that hasn’t provided much even to smile about, Wolff is pushing to put the past behind him and the school and plot a future that includes a new building, a new push to integrate the school and the community and new ways to prepare future lawyers for careers that will require a range of professional skills beyond simply waging pitched battles in court.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Rev. Lawrence Biondi, president of Saint Louis University, and Thomas Brouster, head of the university's board of trustees, will not meet with the Faculty Senate as planned on Tuesday, senate president Mark Knuepfer said Saturday.

In a strongly worded statement, Knuepfer said the secretary of the SLU board had told him that the pair would not be attending the final senate meeting of the year, as agreed upon in a statement released after the board meeting in December.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Faculty, staff and students got together at Saint Louis University to focus on the school’s future, but their discussions inevitably concentrated on the recent past.

Wednesday’s meeting was billed as an effort to draw up a people’s strategic plan for SLU as it nears its 200th birthday in 2018. The call to arms talked about an effort to devise a “not-so-secret” blueprint, compared with what organizers said had been put together behind closed doors by university officials, then kept under wraps.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The executive director of Saint Louis University’s new state-of-the-art Center for Workforce and Organizational Development understands that the world of information technology stands still for no one. 

So even as she’s hosting an open house at her new training facility Thursday afternoon, Katherine Cain is already talking about the agility of the curriculum and how it will be evolving in the months ahead.

Saint Louis University board of trustees who has been a focus of faculty discontent during the stalemate over the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, will step down from his chairmanship at the end of the school year.

Brouster told the Beacon he was leaving because his business and his family required more of his attention than he could give if he remained in the board chairmanship, which he assumed last September – the beginning of a year of tumult at the university.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Saint Louis University needs new leadership, say nearly three-fourths of the faculty members who responded to a survey taken by the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

In a news release Thursday morning, the faculty group said its survey validated earlier “no confidence” votes on the leadership of SLU President Lawrence Biondi taken by faculty and student government groups.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Depending on who you talk to, a new tuition policy at Saint Louis University law school will either save summer students money or cause them to pay up to 60 percent more.

In recent years, summer students, who generally are those working part time toward a law degree, have paid a flat fee of $4,500 for courses, regardless of how many hours they sign up for. The new policy, which students were notified of last week, gets rid of the flat fee and instead charges $1,200 for each credit hour.

(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.

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.

(via SLU Athletics)

Saint Louis University is hosting a public memorial service Friday for basketball coach Rick Majerus.

Hundreds are expected at the service at Chaifetz Pavilion to honor Majerus. It begins at 3:30 p.m.

Majerus coached for 25 years, the last five at Saint Louis University, where he led the Billikens to the third round of the NCAA tournament in March. He was 517-216 for his career and led Utah to the NCAA finals in 1998.

(Courtesy: Saint Louis University Medical Center)

The World Health Organization has declared tuberculosis a global health emergency.

There is already a TB vaccine given to infants in countries other than the United States  but it was developed more than sixty years ago.  That vaccine protects babies from the worst forms of TB but it does not protect adolescents and adults from a type of tuberculosis which accounts for most cases of the disease.

(via SLU Athletics)

Will be updated.

After taking health-related leave in August, Saint Louis University has announced that head men's basketball coach Rick Majerus will not be returning to the team.

An ongoing heart condition was stated as Majerus' reason for his initial leave, and is again the reason listed for his departure from SLU.

SLU Faculty Vote 'No Confidence' In Father Biondi

Oct 30, 2012
via Kaitlyn Vokaty

In an unprecedented move, the faculty of Saint Louis University has voted "no confidence" in University President Father Lawrence Biondi.

The Faculty Senate voted 51-4 with 2 abstaining.

The vote is just the latest in long history of discord between the administration and faculty. During his 25 years as president, Biondi has faced criticism for spending millions of dollars in campus building projects, sometimes at the expense of what professors viewed as more pressing academic needs.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Washington University is hosting a conference tomorrow afternoon on public health challenges in the 21st century.

Melissa Jonson-Reid directs Wash U's Brown Center for Violence and Injury Prevention.

She says one challenge the conference will take on is the problem of violence in St. Louis, and the role local public health professionals can play in addressing it.

(National Cancer Institute/Bill Branson)

Saint Louis University is launching a new initiative to try to fight cancer in minorities.

The SLU Center for Cancer Prevention, Research and Outreach will work with community organizations to improve cancer outcomes for African Americans living in North St. Louis City and County.

The initiative will initially focus on breast and prostate cancer.

(via SLU Athletics)

Will be updated. 

A spokesperson with Saint Louis University confirms that Rick Majerus will be taking a one-year leave of absence from his role as the University's head men's basketball coach. An ongoing heart condition is cited as the reason behind Majerus' leave.

"Rick is in a California hospital undergoing evaluation and treatment for an ongoing heart condition," SLU's Director of Athletics Chris May said in a statement. "His health is the most important issue right now, and our hope is for full and complete recovery."

(via St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department flyer)

Services are planned in suburban Chicago for a former volleyball standout killed in St. Louis during what police say was a robbery attempt.

Investigators say 23-year-old Megan Boken was shot in the neck and chest in her car Saturday while she was in St. Louis for an alumni volleyball game at the university she'd attended there.

As of Tuesday, police had made no arrests, and no charges have been filed.

(via Vimeo/ Saint Louis University)

Updated at 4:55 with comments from interim dean Thomas Keefe.

Updated at 4:20 with comments from current Student Bar Association president

Updated 3:58 p.m. with letter from Biondi to staff via Saint Louis University.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. with comments from former Student Bar Association vice president.

Will be updated.

Annette Clark, dean of the Saint Louis University School of Law, resigned this morning.

In two letters obtained by St. Louis Public Radio (which you can read below), Clark details her reasons for leaving. Clark says she "no longer [has] confidence" in the abilities of President Lawrence Biondi or Vice President of Academic Affairs Manoj Patankar to lead the University.

Courtesy Tim Campion

Updated 1:20 p.m. August 1 with reopening of smelter

The Doe Run Peru smelter in La Oroya, which had been clsoed due to financial and environmental compliance issues since 2009, resumed zinc processing operations over the weekend.

Peru's Minister of Energy and Mines, Jorge Merino Tafur, is reported to have said that lead smelting would also resume in the not too distant future. Restarting copper production would likely take longer, since that would require building a plant to control sulfuric acid emissions.

Doe Run Peru is owned by the Renco Group, which also owns the St. Louis-based Doe Run Resources Corporation. The metal smelting companies in Missouri and Peru have operated independently since 2007.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

SLU researchers study meningitis vaccine

Saint Louis University scientists are conducting a clinical trial of a vaccine for the last remaining strain of meningitis without a vaccine.

The university is recruiting children ages 10 to 12 to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Adolescents are the primary carriers of the bacteria that causes the disease. 

Meningococcal meningitis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection. Flu-like symptoms can progress rapidly, and death can occur within hours.

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

Saint Louis University is hosting a forum on Tuesday about the public health issues facing minorities, in particular African Americans.

A panel of local academics from SLU and Washington University will present their research on topics ranging from maternal health to how segregation affects health literacy.

SLU community health expert Keon Gilbert will talk about the relationship of education to health outcomes in young African American men at risk of dropping out of high school.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

At first glance, the Saint Louis University Cancer Center and the St. Louis Symphony seem to have vastly different missions. One seeks to provide the best care possible following an often devastating diagnosis. The other seeks to spread the beauty of music wherever it can.

But a unique collaboration looks to combine those two missions as often as possible in the region's first comprehensive music therapy program – to the benefit of both organizations and the people they serve.

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