Longtime faculty member Dr. Nancy Zingale will retire Dec. 31

Longtime faculty member Dr. Nancy Zingale will retire Dec. 31

It is with truly mixed emotions today that I announce that Dr. Nancy Zingale, my exceptional executive assistant for the past nine years and a beloved member of the St. Thomas community for three decades, will retire on Dec. 31.

I will miss her! And I know that you will, too. At the same time, I also know that she is looking forward to having more free time with Bill, her husband and fellow political scientist, to travel, read, watch birds and devote more time to their scholarly work.

And Nancy has promised not to entirely disappear. She will continue to coordinate St. Thomas’ interests and activities in Cuba, serve as the President’s Office liaison to the Luann Dummer Center for Women and help out on special projects. I expect that you also will be seeing her at a fair number of lectures, concerts and games on campus.

Dr. Zingale joined our political science faculty in 1976 and served as chair of the department from 1976 to 1986 and in 1996-1997. In 1988, she became the first woman named Professor of the Year by her colleagues on the faculty. Her students at the time said that she taught “challenging and rewarding” courses, pushed them to work hard and actively helped them find internships.

Dr. Nancy Zingale

As a faculty member, Nancy served on many St. Thomas committees, including the Academic Council, Faculty Affairs Committee, Educational Policy Committee and Budget Advisory Committee. She chaired our Curriculum Review Task Force in the 1990s and was faculty representative to the Minnesota Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Nancy has written several books, served as an officer of national and regional political sciences associations and sat on the editorial board of the American Journal of Political Science as well as the board of the Citizens League here and as a member of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Task Force on Gender Fairness in the Courts. She has been a consultant and exit poll analyst for television networks and is interviewed regularly by the media to analyze political and public affairs issues.

Nancy began her service as executive assistant to the president when Dr. Pauline Lambert retired in 1997 and has done a superb job in every aspect. Among her many responsibilities, she has served as secretary of the St. Thomas Board of Trustees and the University of St. Thomas Corporation, as principal liaison to the board’s Executive and Board Affairs committees, as affirmative action officer, and as a member of the senior staff and of the Academic and Administrative Leadership group. She played a central role in developing an exchange agreement with the University of Havana, leading to historic trips that our faculty, staff and students took to Cuba.

On a more personal note, Nancy has been an invaluable sounding board and a wise counselor to me. I look to her for advice on matters large and small because I trust her consistently sound judgment and because I know she will keep foremost in mind what is best for our students, faculty and staff.

With Nancy’s impending retirement, I will begin a search for her replacement. The position has been re-titled as “executive advisor” to the president, and is posted on our Web site. I expect the search committee will complete its work by mid-fall.

In the meantime, please join me in thanking Nancy for everything that she has done for the University of St. Thomas. She is a remarkable person and, as I noted earlier, will be sorely missed.