FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The University of Saint Francis has named an interim president to replace Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer who previously announced his decision to step down.

Dr. Lance Richey will begin his duties Tuesday, May 9. According to a press release from the university, Richey has been handling day-to-day responsibilities since Zimmer’s announcement.

“I am honored to lead the University of Saint Francis during the upcoming months to ensure our students continue to receive the high quality experience USF is well-known for,” Dr. Richey said. “Our Catholic and Franciscan values have guided this University since its founding more than 130 years ago and our emphasis on a holistic experience for students remains today. We expect a strong incoming class this fall, and I am excited about serving as interim president and working closely with students, faculty and staff to keep our momentum going.”

Dr. Richey holds the rank of Professor of Theology and has served USF in several capacities during 12 years of service to the University, most recently as Vice President for Academic Affairs since April 2018. Prior to that, Dr. Richey served more than four years as Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also previously served as Director of the John Duns Scotus Honors Program.

Dr. Richey holds doctorates in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has published widely in both disciplines. He also holds a Certificate of Pre-Theological Studies from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, and a B.A. in History from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to joining USF, Dr. Richey taught at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Conception Seminary College; and Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration remain focused on continuing the strength and impact of this important ministry of higher education in the name of the Catholic Church. The Provincial leadership, working closely with the Board of Trustees, will prayerfully appoint the next USF president after a thorough search.