Iona’s Nyre named new president at Seton Hall

By Tom Bergeron
West Orange | Feb 4, 2019 at 10:55 am
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Joseph E. Nyre has been named the new president at Seton Hall University, the college announced Monday morning. Nyre, currently the president at Iona College, will start Aug. 1.

Nyre, a devout Catholic, is a native of Wisconsin and a first-generation college graduate who attained three advanced degrees and completed pre- and post-doctoral studies at the University of Missouri, University of Kansas and Harvard Medical School.

He has served since 2011 as president at Iona, where Seton Hall officials said he has a number of accomplishments, including:

  • Launching new academic programs;
  • Establishing the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation;
  • Developing a new core curriculum;
  • Funding new endowed professorships;
  • Creating faculty distinction and innovation programs.

In addition, Iona reduced its tuition dependency, substantially strengthened its fiscal health and expanded the footprint of the campus, culminating in two new residence halls and the recent groundbreaking for the LaPenta School of Business.

Iona also experienced record levels of fundraising, tripled the College’s endowment and funded record levels of student scholarships in support of college affordability during his tenure.

Patrick Murray, chair of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents, said all of these accomplishments made Nyre a natural selection.

“The board is overwhelmingly enthusiastic in its selection of Dr. Nyre as Seton Hall’s next president,” he said in a statement. “He is an experienced leader, a bold visionary and possesses an unwavering commitment to our Catholic mission.

“As a highly regarded educator, psychologist and health care innovator, Dr. Nyre is the perfect choice to lead Seton Hall into the highest echelon of American Catholic universities.”

Nyre, widely respected for his program of research, state and national policy work, and leadership, has practiced as a psychologist in academic, clinical and private practice settings while serving at several prominent institutions, including Baylor University, the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School.

He also has served on numerous boards, including the New York Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, International University of Catalonia, and Lower Hudson Valley Consortium of Catholic Colleges and Universities.

Nyre said he is looking forward to the new role.

“It is a great honor and my distinct privilege to be selected to serve as Seton Hall’s 21st president,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the entire Seton Hall community to build on its distinguished legacy of academic excellence in Catholic higher education.”

Iona officials had nothing but praise for his work at the school.

“President Nyre is widely recognized as a transformative figure who is quick to credit others for the work he leads, inspires and accomplishes,” Paul Sutera, Iona’s senior vice president for advancement and external affairs, said in a statement.

Iona College Board Chairman James Hynes agreed.

“Dr. Nyre has had a remarkable and profound impact on our college,” he said in a statement. “We’re grateful for his leadership and dedication during his successful tenure. He will be missed.”

Nyre was selected as Seton Hall’s next leader following a national search led by University Regents Kevin Marino, who served as the chair of the Presidential Search Committee, and Mark Ganton, who served as vice chair.

The committee included representatives from the university’s board of trustees, board of regents, priest community, administration and faculty. The committee was assisted by Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a national search firm that specializes in executive searches in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.

“Dr. Nyre’s distinguished service in academia and health care and his experience in transformational higher education leadership along with his deep Catholic faith will help guide and propel Seton Hall to even greater national prominence,” Marino said in a statement.

Professor Mary Balkun, director of faculty development and a member of the Presidential Search Committee, agreed.

“The faculty were very clear about their criteria for the university’s next president, and I believe Dr. Nyre not only meets, but exceeds those expectations,” she said in a statement.

“He is a researcher and scholar who understands faculty life firsthand; he has a strong record of working with faculty through shared governance; and he has worked hard to advance faculty and student diversity at Iona.”

Nyre and his wife, the former Kelli McIntyre, have four children and currently live in New Rochelle, New York.

Mary J. Meehan, a former Seton Hall senior administrator and three-time alumna, has served as the university’s interim president since March 2017.

During her tenure, Meehan oversaw the opening of the new Interprofessional Health Sciences campus, the university’s continued rise in national rankings and increased fundraising and alumni support. She will continue to serve as interim president until July 31 and then will join Seton Hall’s College of Education and Human Services as a faculty member.

“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Meehan, who has done a tremendous job as interim president at this critical time in the University’s history, leading Seton Hall forward and ensuring a smooth transition for Dr. Nyre’s arrival on campus,” Murray said.