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Hilbert College names new president

The former president of Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., has been appointed to lead Hilbert College as its fourth president.

Michael S. Brophy, who resigned unexpectedly from Benedictine University in August, will be the first male president in the 61-year history of the small college in Hamburg.

He is slated to take office Jan. 15. He will succeed Cynthia A. Zane, who retired in September after 12 years in the post. The Rev. Michael Sajda, interim president, will return to his role as chairman of the college’s board of trustees when Brophy begins.

“Dr. Brophy is an excellent fit for Hilbert College. His extensive, relevant experience and commitment to the liberal arts in a Catholic setting make him an ideal president,” said Peg Adams, current chairwoman of the trustees. “We had three very strong finalists, and it is very gratifying that the Board’s decision was unanimous. It speaks to the amount of confidence we have in Dr. Brophy.”

Brophy had signed an extension in 2017 to stay on as president of Benedictine through 2022, according to Inside Higher Ed, a website that covers academia.

But he announced two weeks prior to the start of the 2018 fall semester that he was stepping down and planned a year-long sabbatical to do research on leadership in higher education. He said in a statement released by the university at the time that he planned to return to teaching in 2019 at Benedictine, where he was a tenured professor.

Prior to Benedictine, Brophy was president of Marymount California University in Los Angeles from 2006 to 2015.

He previously served as a campus dean within the University of Wisconsin system and as an enrollment management leader at Long Island University, the State University of New York at Canton, and The Sage Colleges. Brophy also was as an enrollment consultant to the Kentucky, Indiana, and Louisiana community college systems.

Brophy holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Long Island University, a bachelor’s in music and a master’s in English from The College of Saint Rose.

A Fulbright recipient, Brophy has taught and conducted research in Europe and Cuba.

He plans to relocate from Illinois to Western New York with his wife, Tara, and their three children.

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