Dr. Susan Alexander named executive adviser to president
It is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Susan Alexander, a member of our economics faculty for 25 years and an interim academic administrator extraordinaire, will become executive adviser to the president beginning Jan. 1.
Susan will succeed Dr. Nancy Zingale, who will retire Dec. 31 after nine years in that role and 30 years as a member of the St. Thomas community.
I am changing the position’s title to “executive adviser” because I feel it more accurately reflects the work that Susan will do – and, frankly, that Nancy has done – in advancing the mission, vision and strategic priorities of the university.
Job responsibilities include: serving as my principal liaison to, and secretary of, the Board of Trustees and its Executive and Board Affairs committees; serving as a member of the senior staff; representing me at meetings of the Academic and Administrative Leadership group; handling complaints that come to my office; and developing and managing our office budget.
Susan will bring outstanding credentials and a wealth of experience to her new job.
She has three degrees in economics – a bachelor of arts degree from Arkansas Polytechnic College and master of arts and Ph.D. degrees from Southern Methodist, where she taught and served as an undergraduate adviser between 1973 and 1977. She also taught at the University of Iowa from 1977 to 1981.
Susan joined the economics faculty at St. Thomas in 1981 and chaired the department from 1987 to 1992. She served as interim dean of the undergraduate college in 1993-94, interim associate vice president for academic affairs in 2000-2001 and interim vice president for academic affairs the following two years. She also served as chair of the Sociology Department in 2000-2001.
In an unusual tie vote, Susan and Dr. Michael Jordan, then a member of the English Department, each received the 1997 Professor of the Year Award. Given annually since 1961, the award recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and providing inspiration to students.
Susan is a member of the University Senate and the Fringe Benefits Advisory Committee and is a past member of the Faculty Affairs and Budget Advisory committees. She has written on economics matters for a number of publications, and was a “Real World” columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the late 1990s.
I have every confidence that Susan will do an outstanding job as executive adviser because of her experiences in the classroom and in wearing many administrative hats over the years. I will look to Susan for counsel in the same way that I looked to Nancy and her predecessor, the late Dr. Pauline Lambert – and that will be frequently!
Please join me in congratulating Susan and in thanking Nancy for everything that she has done for the University of St. Thomas. Nancy will remain involved at St. Thomas on a part-time basis, coordinating our interests and activities in Cuba, serving as the President’s Office liaison to the Luann Dummer Center for Women, and helping out on special projects.