TheBoard of Regents of theUniversity of Portland(Oregon) announced today (Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014) that Rev.Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., has been named the 20th president.
Fr. Poorman will succeedRev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., who will step down from the president’s position at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. Fr. Beauchamp has served as the University’s president since 2003.Fr. Poorman will serve as president-elect while Fr. Beauchamp completes his tenure this spring.
A 14-member search committee of UP community members was headed by Regent Thomas D. Arndorfer. The 14-member search committee, comprised of a diverse cross-section of UP students, faculty, staff and regents provided the board with a report and recommendation. The Board elected Fr. Poorman during its winter meeting this weekend. Fr. Poorman met previously with the search committee and also met last week with faculty members, administrators and students.
When the annoucement was made,Chairman of the Board of RegentsD. Allen Lund sent an email to the University communitythanking them for their thoughtful input and responses during the process:“We were blessed to have two very well qualified candidates participate in this critically important search during this exceptional time at the University. Both of the final candidates were extremely impressive and participated fully in a process that was comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative. Each candidate met with members from all areas of our campus community – students, faculty, staff and regents. We appreciate the University of Portland community’s commitment to this process, and thank you for your service.”
Fr. Poorman has been executive vice president at University of Portland since 2011, overseeing the divisions of University operations, financial affairs, University relations and student affairs. He also has served as a professor of theology and pastoral resident of Schoenfeldt Hall. Prior to arriving on The Bluff, he served as vice president for student affairs, a faculty member in the theology department, and pastoral resident at the University of Notre Dame.
Fr. Poorman said he is humbled yet excited to take on the next challenge, leading a University that has “an exceedingly bright future.”
Fr. Poorman grew up in Phoenix, Ariz., Bakersfield, Calif., and Springfield, Ill., where his father was the founding president of Lincoln Land Community College in 1967. He has described those early years as formative, helping to shape his belief in the value of education.
Since his arrival on The Bluff in 2011, he has been instrumental in the creation of the Dundon-Berchtold Initiative in Moral Formation and Applied Ethics. The initiative, funded by Amy Dundon-Berchtold and Jim Berchtold ’63, is designed to ensure that the University meets its “aspirations both to form the moral character of its students and to conduct sustained ethical reflection in applied aspects of business, science, engineering, education, health care and the arts.”
Fr. Beauchamp, who has known Fr. Poorman since the two were in the seminary together, describes him as “a devoted Holy Cross priest, an accomplished administrator and a very popular teacher.”
“He understands the mission of a Catholic University, and he appreciates the importance of student affairs,” Fr. Beauchamp said of Fr. Poorman’s work both at University of Portland and Notre Dame.
Fr. Poorman first began to seriously consider entering the priesthood as a junior at the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English.
He was received into the Congregation of Holy Cross Aug. 13, 1977; made First Vows on Aug. 12, 1978; professed Final Vows on Sept. 4, 1981. He earned a master of divinity degree from Notre Dame and was ordained on April 17,1982. Shortly thereafter, he served as rector of Dillon Hall, associate director of campus ministry and instructor in theology, all at Notre Dame.
He later studied at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., where he earned a doctorate in Christian ethics, then returned to Notre Dame to serve full-time on the faculty of the theology department, later becoming director of the master of divinity program.
He is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
“The University of Portland has been extremely fortunate over the last decade to be led so capably by Fr. Beauchamp,” said Thomas D. Arndorfer, a member of the University’s Board of Regents and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “I speak on behalf of the Presidential Search Committee and my fellow regents when I say that we look forward to Fr. Poorman building upon the foundation laid by Fr. Beauchamp and his predecessors, guiding the University forward while remaining true to our mission of teaching and learning, faith and formation, service and leadership.”
A welcoming receptionfor the president-elect has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Monday, January 27, inthe Board Room of Bauccio Commons on campus.