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Creighton University President Announces Retirement Plans

Creighton University President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J. announced today his plans to retire as president in June 2015.

“When I came to Creighton in 2011 as president, I was coming home. This is the University that I graduated from in 1973 and an institution that I wanted to give back to what the institution gave to me. I left this University at graduation to make a difference and spent the long span of my life in secondary and higher education administrative roles. Now I believe there is another role for me – one that will be even more pastoral and less administrative. But do not doubt, I have much on my list to accomplish in the next 15 months,” said Lannon.

“The past three months allowed me to reflect on my health and what is best for the University. There is never a perfect time for leadership transition, but I feel the time is right for me and provides our Creighton Board of Trustees more than a year to elect my successor,” concluded Lannon.

Creighton University Board of Trustees chair Bruce Rohde said Lannon is recognized and respected as an exceptional leader that has generated hallmark advances for the University.

“Under Lannon’s vision and leadership,” Rohde said, “Creighton has made remarkable achievements including the landmark clinical partnership with Alegent Creighton Health; the largest renovation of academic areas in the history of the University; the strategic development of the Heider College of Business; the adoption of the Provost model; the courageous move to the BIG EAST athletic conference and the finalization of a multi-year strategic plan.”

“The Creighton Board of Trustees are extremely thankful to Fr. Lannon for his leadership and the positive momentum that has generated for the University under his guidance and leadership. We look forward to more momentum and achievement with President Lannon at the helm through the 2014-2015 academic year,” Rohde added.

Lannon noted that “I am so pleased that this special University could move big ideas, big initiatives and big relationships – it has been rewarding and fulfilling. My responsibility is to recognize that now is the best time to transition leadership, when the momentum is at a high point to shape effectively the future for this great University. I am deeply grateful to the Creighton community for all that they have done on behalf of our students – Creighton would not be the university it is today without them.”

Lannon is Creighton University's 24th president. He is the first Creighton University alumnus to head the University. He became president on July 1, 2011, after having served eight years as the 26th president of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia.

Details about the search for a new president will be forthcoming.

Significant University Accomplishments:

Largest Academic Renovation:

Upon Fr. Lannon’s arrival as president, he recognized an opportunity to maximize performance of existing facilities. In October 2012, the Board of Trustees approved two campus development projects that significantly enhanced the academic and athletic footprint of the campus as part of the overall enrollment growth/learning environment strategic priorities. The first renovation included seven campus buildings for better capacity utilization and the largest project of its kind in Creighton’s history, affecting more than 100,000 square feet of academic space. The project included relocation of the College of Business and improvements to six other buildings for the College of Arts and Sciences and Student Life. The project was completed in Oct. 2013.

The second project is the athletics practice and training facility that will complete the east campus athletic/fitness/recreation corridor of the campus. The Championship Center is scheduled for completion in June 2014.

University’s First Named School:

In October 2013, the generosity of one couple, Charles and Mary Heider of Omaha, made Creighton history. The University proudly named the Heider College of Business for our most generous benefactors since our founding Creighton family.

A record-breaking fundraising effort of over $93 million in gifts and pledges to the Ignite the Greatness campaign supported not only the needs of business education at Creighton, but the largest renovation of academic areas in the history of the University. Creighton Board of Trustees members and Omaha business leaders Scott Heider and Mark Huber co-chaired the campaign.

Health Sciences Clinical Partner:

In September 2012, Alegent Health and Creighton University expanded their strategic academic affiliation to form Alegent Creighton Health and Alegent Creighton Clinic.

Alegent Creighton Health is one of the top 15 healthcare systems in the U.S. and provides the primary teaching sites for the School of Medicine and Creighton's other health sciences schools including the College of Nursing, School of Dentistry and Pharmacy and Health Professions. Creighton University is responsible for the educational component of the affiliation, enhancing both the academic experience for students and healthcare in the greater Omaha community. The relationship was further enhanced when Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) acquired full ownership of Alegent Creighton Health in November 2012, expanding the affiliation’s opportunities to CHI’s national network."

In November 2013, the Network Board of Directors for Alegent Creighton Health/Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) announced plans to create a one-of-a-kind academic medical center that will be located at two sites. Inpatient services and the Level One trauma center will be on the Bergan Mercy Medical Center campus in the heart of Omaha; an academically focused ambulatory center near the University will offer primary, secondary and emergency care that stresses community health, wellness and health promotion.

New Athletic Conference:

In March 2013, a significant historic implication for Creighton took plans with the University’s affiliation with the BIG EAST athletic conference. Becoming a member of the BIG EAST is about much more than athletic competition, as membership in this group of academically respected and largely faith-based institutions will enhance the visibility of the University and improve our ability to recruit students in other areas of the country.

Provost and Chief Academic Officer Model:

Edward O’Connor, Ph.D., became Creighton’s first provost in July 2013. As provost, he is the University’s chief academic officer responsible for the nine schools and colleges, along with Student Life and University Ministry. The position of provost is new for the University, an addition designed to create a more unified and integrated education operation. Previously, the health science schools reported to one vice president, and other academic units to another. Under the new model, all schools and colleges now report to the provost. The provost works closely with deans, and departments to facilitate collaboration and ensure that the University is meeting its educational obligations while ensuring that the integrity and high value of that education is enhanced.

University Strategic Plan:

The University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved moving forward with the Strategic Plan in November 2013. No other single initiative holds so much importance for what lies ahead for the University, the students and the campus community. The strategic plan highlights that there is no other institution that has the breadth and depth of academic programs. Creighton is the only university in the country offering education in eight health professions on the same walkable campus with our stellar programs in law, business and the arts and sciences. The plan outlines specific strategic objectives and initiatives to increase Creighton’s value to our stakeholders and to ensure the health and vibrancy of the University. The five objectives include: revenue, cash flow, endowment, student outcome and enrollment. The six strategic initiatives include: mission, bridges, people, operating model, marketing and fundraising.

About Creighton

Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., enrolls 4,000 undergraduates and 4,000 graduate and professional students among nine schools and colleges. No other university its size offers students such a comprehensive academic environment with personal attention from faculty-mentors. Jesuit and Catholic, it affords incomparable interprofessional education, bridging eight health professions programs with law, business and the arts and sciences – all on one walkable campus. Creighton has been a top-ranked university in the U.S. News & World Report for 20 years.


Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., is Creighton University's 24th president. He is the first Creighton University alumnus to head the University.

Fr. Lannon became president on July 1, 2011, after having served eight years as the 26th president of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. At Saint Joseph’s, he led the university’s most successful fundraising campaign, enlarged the campus by 38 acres, and revised the undergraduate core curriculum, boosting Saint Joseph’s academic and national profile. Previously, he served as associate executive vice president and vice president for University Advancement at Marquette University.

Fr. Lannon serves on the boards of Marquette University, Santa Clara University, Creighton Preparatory School, Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) of which he was chair from 2009-2011. He has studied, written and presented on the topic of Catholic identity at American universities. He has been a trustee of Boston College, College of Holy Cross, Fairfield University and Saint Joseph’s University.

He graduated from Creighton in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and was president of the Student Board of Governors. Fr. Lannon holds two master’s degrees from Weston Jesuit School of Theology (now Boston College School of Theology and Ministry) and a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

A native of Mason City, Iowa, Fr. Lannon entered the Society of Jesus in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1986 at St. John’s Church on the Creighton campus. He began his professional career as an admissions counselor at Creighton and honed his educational and administrative skills as an instructor and assistant principal at Marquette University High School, an instructor at Boston College, and an assistant professor at Marquette University. He was president of Creighton Preparatory School from 1988 to 1995.

Fr. Lannon received Creighton University’s College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Merit Award in 1993 and has been inducted into Creighton Prep’s Hall of Fame. As an undergraduate, he received Creighton’s highest student honor, the Spirit of Creighton Award, in 1973.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.