January 16, 2014
Saint Francis University held a reception on January 14, 2014 to welcome President-elect, Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R. The event gave faculty, staff, and students an opportunity to meet the new president as he transitions into the position.
On November 11, 2013, the Saint Francis University Board of Trustees elected Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R. to assume the office of president of Saint Francis University. His term will begin after Rev. Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R. concludes his tenure at the end of the academic year 2013-2014.
"As the oldest Franciscan institution of higher education in the United States, Saint Francis University has a proud heritage that I am eager to build upon. I am blessed to begin this leadership role during a high-energy time when we are celebrating our past successes as an institution, while creating a road map for our future,” Fr. Malachi said of his new role.
“I am extremely thankful for this transitional period before I officially begin my tenure as President. I plan to meet with many constituent groups as possible, spending a great deal of time exploring the University's day-to-day operations, and working with our alumni and long standing partners in support our goals. This fact-gathering phase will allow me to hit the ground running in May."
Fr. Malachi, the son of Fred and Barbara Van Tassell, is a native of Poughkeepsie, NY. He is the oldest of five children and has nine nieces and nephews. He professed vows as a Franciscan in 1999 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2004 at the Immaculate Conception Chapel at Saint Francis University.
Fr. Malachi has a Ph.D. in higher education leadership from Capella University, a master's degree in taxation from Arizona State University, and an undergraduate degree in accounting and Spanish from Franciscan University. A certified public accountant (Arizona), he worked for Coopers & Lybrand in Phoenix, AZ and Arthur Andersen in Albuquerque, NM as a tax accountant prior to becoming a Franciscan.
Fr. Malachi's doctoral dissertation was on the subject of servant leadership. He has had two book reviews appear in the Journal of the American Taxation Association. He has served on various academic committees at Saint Francis University over the years, including service as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative and co-chair of the University's Day of Reflection committee.