Jan. 12, 2017

Jan. 12, 2017: Leadership positions and more

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

Happy New Year, and welcome back for the start of a new semester. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful and restful Christmas season with family and friends.

Today, I am pleased to announce that two senior leadership positions at Creighton have been filled.

John Nisbet, who is currently the chief administrative officer in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU), has accepted our offer to become the University’s vice president for Finance effective Feb. 6. 

At OSU, John provides college-wide leadership for all administrative operations, finance and accounting, procurement, human resources, IT operations, business intelligence and data analytics, and audit and risk management. He also led the development and implementation of a five-year financial plan for the college, which serves 20,000 students at OSU.

In total, John has nearly 20 years of progressive senior management experience in higher education and health care, including at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He earned his MBA in finance and BS in zoology at Ohio State, and an MS in molecular and cellular physiology from the University of Cincinnati. John and his wife, Julie, have two children – Olivia (12) and Jack (11). 

Regarding the vice president for University Relations search, I am very happy to welcome back Matt Gerard, who left Creighton in early 2016 to become vice president of development at Children International in Kansas City. Matt’s appointment is effective Feb. 8.

Many of you know Matt from his 11 years in development roles at the University, including his most recent position of assistant vice president for principal gifts. He established many wonderful connections with alumni, Omaha’s generous philanthropic community of foundations and corporations, and other friends of Creighton during his time here, and I am excited about the leadership experience he brings to University Relations and as a member of my cabinet. 

Matt is a native of Omaha, and earned his MEd from the University of Oregon and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. Matt and his wife, Melissa, have three children – Jack (12), Cecilia (10), and Joey (8).

Thank you to everyone who served on search committees for the two positions. I look forward to welcoming John and Matt to our campus community.

As many of you have already experienced, the long-anticipated launch of the new myHR system occurred on schedule Jan. 1. The flexibility provided by the new online record management system is a vast improvement over previous methods for tracking important payroll-related information and other records. 

I am grateful for the work performed by individuals in several departments for more than a year, including Human Resources and the Department of Information Technology, just to name two. Many people worked during the break to ensure the system would be ready when you returned to campus. 

With the arrival of 2017, we have begun our move into the new medical center campus at 24th and Cuming streets. An exciting part of this new facility is the incorporation of the Center for Interprofessional Practice, Education and Research (CIPER) concept. The new facility will serve as a hub for interprofessional education and collaborative clinical practice. 

Creighton is a national leader for this new model of health care, which focuses on a team-based approach to improving patient outcomes. As we pioneer academic and clinical efforts, and more prominently position the University, we also – and more significantly – promise to serve and prepare our students well for the changing health care environment. 

As CIPER and opportunities to expand our health science programs in Phoenix are important components of a new strategic plan, so too are other initiatives related to our working, learning, and living at Creighton. At convocation with you on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 3:30 p.m., I look forward to discussing many aspects of our new and evolving plan, including intersections with renewed campus master planning and what I hope to be an imminent public comprehensive campaign for the University.  

As strategic planning gains momentum, I have asked Dr. Tom Murray, interim provost, and Dan Burkey, senior vice president for Operations, to help us as a University community assess our resources. In doing so, they will begin leading efforts on a component of the fifth planning theme, Stewarding Our Resources. Early next week, Tom and Dan will provide an update regarding the aspects, opportunities, and issues of resource stewardship.  

Finally, and regarding two upcoming events, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be remembered during the many campus activities planned for the week of Jan. 14-19. A complete listing can be found at creighton.edu/mlk

Also, “Dear World Live” will occur in the Skutt Student Center Ballroom on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with an open photo shoot, and conclude with a storytelling event from 7-8 p.m. The interactive, award-winning program explores the subtle and powerful connections among students, faculty, and staff on college campuses, as well as impoverished countries suffering from war and other devastating conditions. 

The Division of Student Life will release additional information regarding how you can participate in “Dear World Live” very soon on its Facebook page and through additional social media.

I look forward to seeing you around campus at one of the many events planned for the spring semester.


Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ