Aquinas College President Announces He Will Not Seek Another Term

Dec. 1, 2021

Aquinas College President Announces He Will Not Seek Another Term

National Search Begins for Ninth President; Tenure of Kevin Quinn Marked by Completion of $61 Million Comprehensive Campaign, Record Student Retention and National Recognition

After a tenure marked by numerous successes both on campus and nationally, Aquinas College President Kevin Quinn announced he will not seek another term leading the Catholic liberal arts college.

Quinn leaves Aquinas College positioned for continued success following completion of a $61 million comprehensive campaign, record student retention, successful reaccreditation and recognition by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, among others. Quinn informed the Aquinas Board of Trustees of his decision at its October meeting. In November, the trustees named Provost Stephen Germic as interim president.

Aquinas is evaluating firms to lead the national search for its ninth president and expects to make a decision shortly. A search committee of trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders is being formed and will be announced in the coming weeks.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president of Aquinas College,” said Quinn, 60, who joined Aquinas College in 2017. “There were a number of factors that contributed to my decision, including the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the main reason is that my wife, Terry, and I are ready for our next adventure.

“We have appreciated the warm welcome we have received from our campus and the greater West Michigan community. Part of Aquinas College will always be with us, no matter where we go.”

Under Quinn’s leadership, Aquinas College:

  • Announced the successful completion of the Contributing to More comprehensive campaign this fall. The largest capital campaign in the history of the College raised more than $61 million for new state-of-the-art science facilities, the College’s first dedicated chapel, more than $17 million in student scholarships and resources for campus infrastructure, technology and beautification.
  • Was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best National Liberal Arts Colleges for the third consecutive year, moving up 71 spots on a year-over-year basis.
  • Completed a successful reaccreditation process through the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Posted record student retention of 85.2% of first-year students in 2021, an increase of 14.5% over the prior year.
  • Developed its 2030 Strategic Plan, an all-encompassing guide that drew from the College’s identity and heritage to identify goals for the coming decade with a particular focus on being student centered, data driven and community focused.
  • Developed a comprehensive campus master plan, which President Quinn launched to create a long-term strategy to transform the physical spaces on campus to support curricular and co-curricular outcomes.
  • Reorganized and expanded committees of the board of trustees to welcome student, faculty and staff representation.

Aquinas Board Chair Marcie Hillary praised Quinn for his thoughtful leadership, particularly during the global COVID-19 pandemic. She noted Quinn helped the College focus on the student experience and success even while marshalling efforts to mitigate COVID among students, faculty and staff.

“The board is incredibly grateful to President Quinn for his leadership and dedication to the success of Aquinas College over the past five years,” Hillary said. “Responding to the pandemic was a challenge for all of us. We so appreciate Kevin’s focus on student experience and success as the College successfully mitigated spread on campus so students could benefit from an in-class, personal learning environment.

“On behalf of the board of trustees, we wish Kevin all the best in his next chapter.”

A native of the Chicago area, Quinn has dedicated the majority of his career to Catholic higher education. He joined Aquinas after a 23-year career at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, where he was the founding dean of the Schneider School of Business and Economics. Quinn also served as St. Norbert’s associate academic dean, associate dean of the social sciences and coordinator for the economics discipline.

Quinn holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Loyola University in Chicago, an MBA in marketing and economics from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a doctorate in energy and environmental economics, also from UIC.