Spring Hill College announces new leadership

Mon, 11/04/2013 - 11:45am
Rev Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., and John Barter

Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., to assume presidency, John Barter named chief operating officer

MOBILE, Ala. – The Spring Hill College Board of Trustees today announced a new leadership structure for the College. The Rev. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., will once again assume the presidency of Spring Hill College on Dec. 13, 2013, and will be joined by John Barter, who has been named chief operating officer. Barter will oversee daily operations of the College and lead the College’s cabinet. This new leadership team will build upon the remarkable history and strong foundation of the premier Jesuit college in the South. Rev. Richard P. Salmi, S.J., who has served as the College’s 38th president since June 2009, will step down at the end of the academic semester to pave the way for this new structure.

Lucey served as Spring Hill's 37th president from 1997 to 2009. Following his appointment as president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Lucey returned to Spring Hill College as chancellor in spring 2013. His role as chancellor included strengthening the College’s mission and identity as a Jesuit, Catholic college.

“Spring Hill College is tremendously fortunate to call upon the leadership and experience of Fr. Lucey,” said Jim McKinney, chair of the Spring Hill College Board of Trustees. “He served as one of the longest tenured presidents in the College’s history and is credited with the sweeping renovations to the campus, which now place Spring Hill College among the most beautiful college campuses in the country. He is also a nationally recognized leader in Jesuit higher education and has cultivated a vast network of important relationships both in Mobile and nationwide. Fr. Lucey and John Barter will partner exceedingly well with the College’s leadership team and board.”

Barter graduated from Spring Hill College in 1968 and went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University. His career includes serving as chief financial officer for AlliedSignal, now known as Honeywell International Inc., and serving a three-year term as president of AlliedSignal Automotive, Inc. Barter’s professional and philanthropic interests include serving as a director on many corporate and nonprofit boards. He was elected to the Charleston County Board of Education in Charleston, S.C., in November 2012. The College will benefit greatly from Barter’s financial and operational background during his tenure as chief operating officer.

During Salmi’s tenure, the College weathered the nation’s financial crises and is now positioned for tremendous growth in the coming years.  Among his accomplishments, Salmi helped to welcome two of the largest first-year classes in the College’s 183-year history, transitioned the College’s athletic department into the NCAA membership process, and led one of the most significant years of fundraising in the College’s history. Prior to his appointment at Spring Hill, Salmi served as vice president for student affairs at Loyola University Chicago. He brought his passion for student engagement to Spring Hill’s residential campus with the creation of learning communities, which allow students with shared interests and pursuits to live together and support one another through learning activities. In addition, Salmi was the driving force behind the College’s establishment of the Italy Center study abroad program in Bologna, Italy. He also reaffirmed the College’s commitment to service with annual Ignatian Days of Service and additional service-learning opportunities, for which the College was recognized in the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

“I assumed the presidency of the College during one of the most challenging economic environments ever faced by higher education,” Salmi said. “I am proud of all that the College has accomplished in the last five years. Now is the time for new leadership and energy to capitalize on our progress. I am grateful to the Spring Hill College community for the honor of serving as the ­38th president of the College.”

McKinney added, “Spring Hill College is grateful to Fr. Salmi for the dedicated years of service, his leadership through challenging times, and his unwavering commitment to our students. Fr. Salmi has challenged the College to become a leader in Jesuit education and we look forward to seeing Fr. Lucey, John Barter and the cabinet build upon this strong foundation.”