The University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering 40 undergraduate programs, four degree-completion programs and 15 graduate programs, including two doctoral programs. Programs are offered in arts and science, business, education, nursing and health care and social work. Founded in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, the university’s mission is to develop students’ minds and spirits through service and leadership opportunities.
Traditional Undergraduate Students
Adult Degree Completion Students
USF Mission Statement
As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and char-ism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership.
To learn more about the University of St. Francis, click the links below.
The University of St. Francis annually offers events appealing to alumni and the community at-large. For a listing of upcoming events, click below.
Board of Trustees
The University of St. Francis Board of Trustees oversees and guides USF in fulfillment of its educational mission. For a roster of current trustees, click below.
President Michael J. Vinciguerra, Ph.D.
Dr. Michael Vinciguerra was installed as the eighth president of the University of St. Francis in June 2002. Since arriving at USF, Vinciguerra has been active in the community and has encouraged numerous collaborative education and service projects.
Under his leadership, the university developed a plan that gives focus and direction in defining USF as Joliet’s urban university with a national presence. He has worked to strengthen USF’s Catholic Franciscan identity and heritage so that it may pervade decision-making on campus. He has led the campus and Board of Trustees to adopt a 15-year $70 million campus master plan that has resulted in the acquisition of all campus properties from the founding congregation, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate and other surrounding properties, as well as major renovations in Marian Hall and the former Motherhouse.
Vinciguerra was born and raised in the Bronx New York (home of his beloved Yankees). He earned a B.S. degree from Iona College and his Ph. D. in physical chemistry from Adelphi University. He completed a program in higher education senior administration offered by the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard University
He began his professional career as an assistant professor of chemistry at the State University of New York campus in Farmingdale where he earned tenure and achieved the rank of full professor. After serving as dean of Arts and Sciences and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs, he was appointed provost and chief academic officer. He served twice as acting president at Farmingdale. In addition, he was instrumental in the creation of a $14 million state-funded Bioscience Park on the Farmingdale campus in collaboration with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
Officers of Administration
Frank H. Pascoe, D.A.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charles M. Beutel
Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment Services
Vice President for Administration and Finance
Sr. Mary Elizabeth Imler, O.S.F.
Vice President for Mission Integration and University Ministry
Previous Presidents, Award Recipients, & Honorary Degrees
Transform students into leaders inspired by Franciscan values and tradition to serve and shape our world.
Francis was transformed when he prayed at the San Damiano Chapel and heard the words:
“Francis, go and repair my house, which you can see is all being destroyed”
CATHOLIC FRANCISCAN IDENTITY
In order to achieve the vision, USF will build on our Catholic Intellectual Tradition, create a welcoming environment and provide opportunities for USF students, faculty, administration and staff to model Franciscan values as servant leaders
Objective: More fully integrate the Catholic Social Teachings into the ethos of the University to strengthen our Catholic Identity
Objective: Create a university that reflects, affirms, and celebrates the diverse populations of the communities we serve
Objective: Develop vibrant relationships rooted in the tenets of Franciscan tradition with a special focus on the growing Hispanic/Latino community
… et Postea Speculatio
(…and then learning)
In order to achieve the vision, USF will further distinguish its academic programs with exemplary experiential learning opportunities, developing virtuous leaders in light of both faith and reason, and cultivating a disciplined and compassionate sensitivity to human solidarity in an increasingly technological and diverse global reality.
Objective: Enhance transformational learning through University-wide experiential learning and distinctive leadership opportunities in the Franciscan tradition
Objective: Ensure that the student outcomes for major and general education programs reflect Catholic Franciscan traditions including sustainability, recognizing connections between disciplines, and preparing students for a diverse, information-rich, global society
Objective: Align academic resources to support compelling new programs and those existing programs with opportunity for success and distinction
… to use with discernment the gifts God gives.
STEWARDSHIP OF RESOURCES
In order to achieve the vision, the University will strengthen fiscal stability and stewardship
Objective: Increase net enrollment revenue while developing new revenue sources
Objective: Driven by our Franciscan tradition and values, improve operational efficiencies across the University with a focus on sustainability and good stewardship of resources that will grow and direct the use of our resources in support of the mission
Objective: Increase philanthropic giving in support of the University vision and mission
The University of St. Francis continually seeks ways to improve its facilities to foster a learning-centered environment for its students. The USF Board of Trustees, in May 2004, approved a Campus Master Plan dedicated to the following:
At the main campus, several beautification projects have been undertaken, and include the addition of a fountain and paver brick walkway on the quadrangle. Many of the bricks have been engraved with messages from the USF community. Bricks may still be purchased. INSERT LINK
As with all urban universities, parking is a constant challenge. The university is committed to addressing parking in each stage of developing its Campus Master Plan for the main campus.
Marian Hall Renovation
In just 100 days over the summer of 2005, Marian Hall on Taylor Street was renovated to include new bathrooms; study lounges with computers and wireless Internet connection on every floor; a kitchen; laundry facilities on every floor; and computer access in every room.
The University of St. Francis purchased the historic Motherhouse, home to its founders the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate, at 520 Plainfield Road in 2004. Built in 1881, the Motherhouse was the first home to the university and has again become a center of campus activity.
The first renovations, completed in fall 2005, created classroom and laboratory space for the Cecily and John Leach College of Nursing, along with conference space and student housing.
In fall 2007, student center spaces and additional student housing opened. The student center space includes a game room, Three Oaks Bistro, the Fireside Lounge and a computer study area. The Three Oaks Bistro, named for the tree that greets visitors at the quad entry to the Motherhouse, is open to the community.
St. Joseph Chapel on the third floor was updated with paint and air conditioning. The chapel was rededicated on Founders’ Day Opening Mass, Sept. 5, 2007. A meditation space for multi-denominational use is located near the chapel along with University Ministry offices.
Though not on campus property, a statue of Mother Alfred Moes, founder of the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate in September 2007, was dedicated at the corner of Wilcox and Taylor Streets and welcomes guests to the main academic building, Tower Hall. The statue was erected in partnership with the City of Joliet.
In 2010, the center wing of the Motherhouse was dedicated to become the “front door” of the university with the opening of a Welcome Center and the President’s Office. The Sala Santa Chiara (St. Clare room) was dedicated in May 2011 to honor of the university’s patron, Saint Clare, and the university’s founders and sponsors, the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate.
Future plans include renovation of the remainder of the second floor west wing.
Main Campus Future Plans
Several potential future projects are being studied:
The university has purchased several neighborhood properties as part of its Campus Master Plan initiative. The University of St Francis is committed to working with property owners in reaching a fair price that reflects market values. While the university may contact property owners to gauge interest in selling, most sales have been initiated by the sellers.
The university pays taxes on properties that are not used to fulfill our educational mission.
The university has no authority regarding the Right of Eminent Domain to acquire land for university use.
Many properties have been taken down for parking or other use. Those that remain may be rented. The university does not rent houses to undergraduate students.
The university is committed to a “good neighbor policy” and has, in conjunction with the City of Joliet and the Cathedral Area Preservation Association (CAPA), established standards for maintaining its residential properties.
Rialto City Center Campus
In 2009, USF partnered with the Rialto Square Theatre and the City of Joliet to move the university’s Art and Design Department to the Rialto in downtown Joliet, creating a distinctive educational experience. The university operates a PACE shuttle bus between the Rialto and main campus.
An 1,800-square-foot gallery, at the corner of Van Buren and Scott streets, will be dedicated to the university arts program. In 2012, the Will County Board awarded a $50,000 grant to assist in renovating the space. The gallery is expected to open in fall 2012.
For more information about the Campus Master Plan, please contact Nancy Pohlman, executive director of University Relations & Advancement, (815) 740-3379; email@example.com
USF Sustainability Statement
As an expression of our Catholic Identity, the University of St. Francis community demonstrates, respect for all creation by being responsible and ethical stewards of God’s resources, meeting current needs without sacrificing the survival, health and success of future generations and by advocating on behalf of the under-served in our world. Affirming our commitment to ensure all of God’s creation is used and sustained in manners that safeguard the health and survival of God’s gifts, the University will:
USF Signs Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact
University of St. Francis President Michael J. Vinciguerra joined the leaders from 11 other south suburban universities signing the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact (Adobe PDF).
The university representatives, who are part of the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium (SMHEC), signed the agreement on Sept. 14, 2010.
“Sustainability is very important to us at the University of St. Francis, and we work to keep it at top of mind in all we do, as a teaching by our patron saint, St. Francis, and as a part of our Franciscan values of respect, integrity, service and compassion, ” Vinciguerra said.
By signing the compact, the university is accountable for the completion of certain tasks working toward measured improvements and integrated sustainability in campus operations, academic and research programs, student activities and community outreach.