Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer named new president of USF

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The University of Saint Francis is getting a new president, and for the first time in the institution’s history, the position is going to a man. Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer has been appointed president of the University of Saint Francis. He will start the new role July 1, 2020. 

Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer has been appointed president of the University of Saint Francis. He will start the new role July 1, 2020. 

Father Zimmer was appointed by the founding Congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, working closely with the USF Board of Trustees. He will succeed Sister M. Elise Kriss, OSF, who will retire after 27 years as president on June 30, 2020. 

“I take with all seriousness the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Sister Elise at the University of Saint Francis,” Father Zimmer said in a news release delivered to the media Monday.

The concern for the whole person, in the Franciscan tradition, consistent with Church teaching on the sanctity of life, extends the vision of Saints Francis and Clare to the present day. I am honored by the responsibility offered to me by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. I look forward to serving the university in this time of challenge and hope.

Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer

Father Zimmer currently serves as associate teaching professor in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame as well as pastor of Saint Patrick’s Church in Walkerton, Ind. He directs the Mendoza College of Business interchange with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education. He teaches negotiation and business communication and his research emphasis includes the adoption of innovation in non-profit organizations and the fundraising practices of non-profits. He has previously worked in higher education at Creighton University, Georgetown University and the University of Washington.

Father Zimmer has a track record of success in fundraising, finance and investments. He increased Saint Patrick’s Parish revenue by 50% in the first 12 months and developed six- and seven-figure capacity prospects for Creighton University. He also assisted in the design of the request for a high eight-figure gift at Notre Dame. He developed the fundraising arm of the National Office for Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing. 

Father Zimmer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the University of Chicago, a M.Div. and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, an M.A. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Loyola University of New Orleans.

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