Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., named VP for Mission Engagement & Church Affairs at ND

Notre Dame Blue Seal

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. president of the University of Notre Dame, has made three staff changes in his office, effective over the next month.

Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., executive director of the Center for Social Concerns, will take on the new position of vice president for mission engagement and church affairs. Ann M. Firth, most recently associate vice president and counselor to the president and previously associate vice president for student affairs, will become Fr. Jenkins new chief of staff. And Frances L. Shavers, chief of staff and special assistant to the president, has been appointed to the newly created position of chief diversity officer.

Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C.

In his new role, Father Lies will take on some key responsibilities previously assigned to the Office of the Counselor to the President, which Rev. James McDonald, C.S.C., led in recent years. He also will coordinate and strengthen the many ways in which Notre Dame serves the Catholic Church, connecting with Church leaders and working to sustain and enhance the critical contribution of the Congregation of Holy Cross to Notre Dame. He also will have specific responsibility for the ecclesial role of the University’s Tantur Ecumenical Institute.

Under Fr. Lies’ direction for the past 10 years, the Center for Social Concerns doubled its financial and human resources and, together with the Institute for Church Life, relocated to Geddes Hall. He has maintained the center’s longstanding commitment to integrate Catholic social thought and deepen academic disciplinary content throughout programs, seminars, research and courses. He teaches in the Department of Political Science and is a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Fr. Lies earned his bachelor’s degree in English with minors in French and philosophy from Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. He received his master of divinity degree from Notre Dame and his doctorate in political science from the University of Pittsburgh. He entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1987, finished his theological training in 1993, and was ordained a year later at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.

Fr. Lies will begin his duties in the president’s office on a limited basis March 19 and continue directorship of the center through June. A search will begin soon for his successor.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on February 21, 2012.

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