President McCulloh wants to provide students the same caliber of experience he had as a student 20 years ago: being invited to participate in something larger, in the betterment of community.
Since the beginning of his work at Gonzaga, Dr. Thayne McCulloh's focus has been on the advancement of academic excellence, development of a strong community, and promotion of institutional health in the context of a vibrant Jesuit and Catholic learning environment.
McCulloh's vision for the immediate future remains focused on increased institutional stability and support for educational excellence. "Our primary mission is to educate students. I plan to continue efforts to optimize operational costs while focusing additional resources on educational programs, student life, and a healthy financial aid program. Part of this effort will include building Gonzaga's endowment to make the University more accessible to students who are motivated to seek a Gonzaga education. Finally, as Gonzaga prepares for its 125th Anniversary in 2012, I plan to seek greater collaboration with the Spokane community to further the prosperity of the City and region through the service, diversity, ingenuity and economic resources of this University and its students."
McCulloh has been integral to Gonzaga's successful enrollment management effort over the past 12 years. Enrollment reached an all-time high last fall with a total of 7,682 students enrolled. As interim president, McCulloh has engaged the campus community in an effort to define the appropriate size of Gonzaga's student body without compromising Gonzaga's high academic and student life standards. In the face of last year's record-breaking freshmen class, this effort will result in an intentionally more selective fall 2010 freshman class.
McCulloh has also helped Gonzaga navigate through the economic recession, implemented new resource allocation strategies to greater effect and focus dollars on student services, and restructured his administration for greater accessibility and efficiency. Finally, McCulloh welcomed a new academic vice president, Dr. Patricia O’Connell Killen, and appointed a new executive vice president, Dr. Earl Martin, to oversee many of Gonzaga's internal operations. But through many changes, Gonzaga's Jesuit foundation has always been of paramount importance to the new president.
"I am humbled by the confidence the Board and GU community have placed in me with this appointment," said McCulloh. "Gonzaga is poised for even greater success and opportunity, and I am privileged to play a role in advancing its important mission as a Jesuit, Catholic university. Our world is filled with both boundless technological advancement and staggering challenges due to poverty, and economic instability, and international conflict. In this context, our Jesuit-led mission is more important than ever. We are engaged in a transformational process with our students, preparing them to first and foremost be well-educated women and men for others who will make a long-lasting impact on our community and world."
"My life would not be the same without Gonzaga - it's where my wife Julie and I met, and where many of my values have been shaped. The Jesuits and my colleagues at Gonzaga have allowed me to participate fully in the advancement of this institution," continued McCulloh. "I am excited about the prospect of giving back to this institution and its constituents through a vision focused on preserving our mission, unique student life experience and academic excellence while exploring new frontiers for preparing students to tackle today's complex global issues."
"Thayne McCulloh has proven in his long service at the University that he shares all our Jesuit values of education," said Rev. Steve Kuder, S.J., rector of the Gonzaga Jesuit community and a Trustee. "I think I speak for the University Jesuit community when I say that we welcome him wholeheartedly as our first lay president. I cannot imagine a more qualified or distinguished leader for Gonzaga at this pivotal time in our history."