The University of St. Thomas is fortunate to have a strong group of individuals leading our University.
Dr. Richard L. Ludwick, President
Dr. Dominic A. Aquila, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Spencer Conroy, Interim Vice President for Finance
Gary McCormack, Vice President for Planning and Technology and Special Assistant to the President
Patricia McKinley, Vice President for Student Affairs
Jeff Olsen, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Arthur Ortiz, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Dr. Richard L. Ludwick
Richard L. Ludwick became the 9th president of the University of St. Thomas on July 1, 2017. He previously served as president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the nation’s oldest association of 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities enrolling more than 100,000 students. In that capacity, he led strategic initiatives in public policy at the state and federal levels, spurred innovative, intercollegiate collaborations, and successfully executed multi-million dollar philanthropic campaigns.
Richard served as provost at St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma before joining ICI. Early in his career, Richard co-founded a law firm in Indiana and later went on to serve institutions of higher learning across the United States, including positions as vice president of enrollment management and student affairs at Albany Law School (Albany, NY); assistant dean for student and academic affairs at the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law (Gainesville); and dean of students at the University of Oregon School of Law (Eugene).
In addition to his Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Evansville, Richard holds a Master of Arts in higher education administration from Teachers College of Columbia University (New York), Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney Law School, and Doctor of Education in policy management and organization of higher education administration from the University of Oregon (Eugene).
Currently, Richard serves as president of the International Council of the Universities of Saint Thomas Aquinas, a global network of institutions dedicated to the spirit of St. Thomas. Richard served as a commissioner for the Midwest Higher Education Compact; chair of the board for the Coalition for College Cost Savings; as a member of the Indiana Chamber’s Business Higher Education Policy Committee; and as a member of the State Councils’ Advisory Committee for the Council of Independent Colleges.
Richard and his wife, Melynda, a pharmacist, have two grown children, Richard III, also a graduate of the University of Evansville, and Christianne, a graduate of Ave Maria University and Butler University respectively. Christianne and husband, Michael Fenzl, have two children, Gabriel and Pia.
- B.A., University of Evansville, History
- M.A., Teachers College of Columbia University - New York, Higher Education Administration
- J.D., Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney Law School
- D.Ed., University of Oregon - Eugene, Policy Management and Organization of Higher Education Administration
Dr. Dominic A. Aquila
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Dominic Aquila has 32 years of experience in public and private higher education. Aquila is also a Trustee of the American Academy of Liberal Education, the Crossroads Cultural Center, a member of the Council of Independent Colleges Chief Academic Officer and Chief Financial Office Task Force, and the Children at Risk Institute.
His areas of research and expertise include music and culture, Catholicism and American culture, and higher education administration. He can also speak on American and European History.
- B.M., The Juilliard School, Percussion and Composition
- M.B.A., New York University, Marketing and Management
- D. Litt et Phil., The University of South Africa, History
Interim Vice President for Finance
Spencer Conroy, Interim Vice President for Finance, is an executive with nearly a decade of private higher education experience both in public accounting and working as a controller and a financial and administrative vice president with experience overseeing facilities, human resources, finance, accounting and information technology. With a deep understanding of the strategic, operational and political challenges and opportunities facing private colleges and universities, Conroy has amassed a breadth and depth of experience dealing with multifaceted, dynamic and complex situations.
Conroy comes to the University of St. Thomas from Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN where he served as the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer and is excited to come to Houston with his wife, Jamie.
- B.S., Taylor University
- M.B.A., Saint Joseph’s College
Vice President for Planning and Technology and Special Assistant to the President
Gary McCormack joined University of St. Thomas in March of 1999 as the vice president for Information Technology. He assumed additional responsibilities as special assistant to the president in April 2005. In July 2011, he became vice president for Planning and Technology. Over his 36-year career in higher education, McCormack has held a variety of administrative roles. McCormack has lived in the Houston area since 1975.
- B.A., University of South Alabama
- M.B.A., University of Houston
Vice President for Student Affairs
Patricia McKinley is responsible for the non-academic student experience at University of St. Thomas. McKinley came to the University in 1992 as the associate director of Counseling, Testing and Career Services. In 1998, she was promoted to director of the Career Services and Testing Center and, in 2006, became the dean of students.
Previously, McKinley served as the counselor for the Women in Transition Program at Houston Community College providing career and personal counseling and academic advising to re-entry college women. She has also taught American and world history in public high schools. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds public education certifications in counseling and social studies.
- B.A., History and Political Science
- M.Ed., University of Houston, Counseling Psychology
Vice President for Marketing & Communications
Jeff Olsen leads the marketing, branding, communications, public relations, and social media efforts and initiatives at the University of St. Thomas. Olsen came to St. Thomas from Sam Houston State University, where he served as the director of marketing and communications.
Prior to his career in education, Olsen worked as a television writer and producer in Los Angeles for 15 years. In Hollywood, he developed a passion for storytelling, communications, and audience research. He brings those same passions to his marketing and communications work at the University of St. Thomas.
- B.A., California State University, Long Beach, Film and Electronic Arts
Vice President for Enrollment Management.
Arthur Ortiz, Vice President for Enrollment Management., has worked in the University of St. Thomas Admissions Office since March of 1999. The Basilian Fathers, the founders of UST, ran the parish Ortiz grew up in, and they continue to be influential in his life. During his tenure at the University, Ortiz has overseen Catholic and home-schooled student recruitment. He enjoys keeping up with admissions trends in higher education and has presented on various topics at several state and national conferences. Arthur is a graduate of the University of Houston–Clear Lake.
- B.S., University of Houston–Clear Lake, Psychology/Mathematics minor