Niagara Gazette — After 13 years, Niagara University President The Rev. Joseph Levesque is calling it a career.
The long-time fixture at the school – a teacher and dean long before his tenure as president – gathered the campus community to announce he’s stepping down from the college’s chief position, effective this coming summer.
“I never planned on being president,” Levesque said following his bombshell announcement Tuesday. “It was never in my dreams. The fact that I could be president of a place I’ve loved since I came her in (1970) to give leadership and take the university’s ideas and my ideas and make them real. You can make some things happen and that excites me.
“Looking at my life, I had accomplished a great deal. I know I’m aging and it’s time to bring in some new blood with new ideas. I talk to the students ... about being innovative. I think that I’m innovative, but I know there are many others who are also innovative.”
The decision to step down came as a shock to much of the college’s community, which assembled in the general room of the Castellani Art Museum Tuesday afternoon for what the college called an “important announcement.”
In a short address to the crowd, Levesque, the 25th president of Niagara, clarified his role going forward and what he hopes to bring to the school in the future.
“I am not retiring,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I will stay on at Niagara University, working in ways that I can assist the new president, the administration and all the members.”
Figuring out his new role at the campus will be hashed out further later this year, as the board of trustees conducts a national search for his replacement. But Levesque said he’s particularly interested in continuing the university’s already established directives to be a force for good in the general community.