Dr. Michael Naughton, a St. Thomas faculty member since 1991, has been named director of the Center for Catholic Studies and also will hold the Koch Chair in Catholic Studies.
Dr. Terence Langan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, made the appointment of Naughton after a national search. Naughton will become the second director of the center, after having served as its interim director this year.
“The Center for Catholic Studies has been an important part of the University of St. Thomas for many years,” Langan said. "I am looking for bigger and better things from the center, and I believe that Mike is the person who will deliver them in collaboration with many others from across the College of Arts and Sciences and the university.”
“I am humbled by this appointment,” Naughton said. “The incredible work done by so many, including faculty, staff, administrators, donors and students, has created a center of national and international stature. I pray that we will be able to continue this good work and create more bridges and relations both within St. Thomas and in the larger academy and church.”
Naughton co-founded the Center for Christian Social Thought and Management at St. Thomas in 1992, and it later became the John A. Ryan Institute for Catholic Social Thought within the Center for Catholic Studies.
As institute director and holder of the Alan W. Moss Endowed Chair in Catholic Social Thought, Naughton has organized international conferences on the theme of Catholic social thought and management as well as faculty and administrative seminars on the mission and identity of Catholic universities. As holder of the Moss Chair, Naughton has held a joint appointment in business and Catholic Studies.
Naughton has been an extensive collaborator with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, organizing conferences and participating in research projects as well as coordinating and writing the Vocation of the Business Leader, which the council issued in 2012.
He serves as board chair for Reell Precision Manufacturing, a St. Paul-based global producer of innovative torque solutions for transportation, consumer electronics, medical and office automation products. He also has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Seeing Things Whole.
Last January, Naughton received the Monika K. Hellwig Award for Outstanding Contributions to Catholic Intellectual Life from the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
He received his Ph.D. in theology from Marquette University (1991) and an M.B.A. degree from St. Thomas (1995).
A native of Chicago, Naughton and his wife, Teresa (CSMA ’15), live in St. Paul and have five children: Clare ’11, Noel ’14, Mary ’17, Eamon and Annie.