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Siena College president to step down in 2020

Siena College president to step down in 2020

Buffalo native has led school since 2014
Siena College president to step down in 2020
Brother F. Edward Coughlin, Siena College's president, addresses a Mass celebrating the college's 80th anniversary.
Photographer: Photo provided

LOUDONVILLE — The president of Siena College announced Wednesday that he would step down next year.

Brother F. Edward Coughlin has led the small liberal arts college since August 2014, first on an interim basis, then through a formal appointment as its 11th president.

His departure will be effective Aug. 31, 2020, which is when his current three-year contract ends. The departure also aligns with Siena’s timeline to begin developing a new strategic plan and engaging in fundraising for campus improvements designed to support students and accommodate new academic programs. 

“Given the transformative work ahead and the timeline required, the college must have a leader who can inaugurate this process then actively see it through over the next five to seven years, if not beyond,” Coughlin said in a news release.

A steering committee will be formed to organize a presidential search with the assistance of an independent firm.

Coughlin notified the Siena Cabinet of his decision Tuesday morning, then the rest of the Siena community on Wednesday. He is currently on medical leave but will return before the start of the next academic year. Margaret A. Madden, vice president for academic affairs, is serving as interim president this summer. 

The Buffalo native holds a doctorate from the Catholic University of America, a master’s from Boston College and a bachelor’s from St. Bonaventure University. He previously was vice president for Franciscan mission at St. Bonaventure and has twice been the director of St. Bonaventure’s Franciscan Institute.

During Coughlin’s tenure as president, Siena expanded its enrollment and now is on track to enroll one of the largest freshman classes in its 82-year history; introduced and expanded a scholarship program to increase the college’s socioeconomic diversity; added eight new majors and an MBA program; and raised its assets by $35 million, bringing total endowment to over $130 million.

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