Joliet, Ill. – The University of St. Francis Board of Trustees extended the contract of current university president Arvid C. Johnson, Ph.D., at its meeting on Friday, June 7, 2019. Johnson joined the university in June 2013 as its ninth president and will continue to serve in that role through June 2027.

“It is a privilege to continue to serve as the ninth president of the University of St. Francis. USF has come a long way since its establishment in 1920 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate. I look forward to many more years of helping the USF community build a Franciscan future through offering academic excellence in programs that prepare women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership,” Johnson said.

Outgoing USF Board of Trustees chairperson Arthur Scheuber commended Johnson for the positive impact he has had on the USF community since his arrival six years ago.

“During my tenure on the Board of Trustees, we hired Dr. Johnson,” Scheuber said. “He came to St. Francis with a belief in ‘servant leadership’ and was quick to develop strong relationships with the founding congregation, students, staff, faculty, alumni and the community. He also developed a strategic plan that called for the development of measurable goals. In the six years that Dr. Johnson has been at the helm of the university, he has meet or exceeded almost all of those goals.”

“USF’s academic reputation has continued to grow. Dr. Johnson has implemented change that has brought fiscal stability to the university. He has improved our presence in downtown Joliet with the creation of the St. Bonaventure Campus, created a new home for our nursing college, built a new science hall and addressed the parking issues on the campuses.  He has also engaged our alumni and brought more of them back in contact with USF. He has been able to improve our fundraising and increase our student enrollments. More importantly, he has put us on a track to be successful in the future,” Scheuber added.

During Johnson’s time with the university, USF has continued to strengthen its reputation as a top-rated, private, Catholic, Franciscan university. In addition to annually receiving both regional and national accolades for its academic programs from Money Magazine, The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Colleges of Distinction, USF has seen its enrollments increase and its facilities expand (most recently with the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Science Hall that opened in 2018) under Johnson’s leadership.  Indeed, the University now operates three campuses in the Joliet region – having opened its St. Bonaventure Campus (anchored by the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center) in downtown Joliet in 2015 and its St. Clare Campus (anchored by Guardian Angel Hall, which houses the Leach College of Nursing) two miles north of the Main Campus in 2016.  Johnson has also helped USF establish multiple international academic partnerships, including an MBA program with the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic, and similar partnerships with the University of Finance-Marketing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the University of Economics and Business in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Prior to joining the University of St. Francis, Johnson served as the Dean of the Brennan School of Business at Dominican University since 2008 and as a Professor of Management since 2001. He presently serves on several boards including the Illinois Council on Economic Education, Will County Center for Economic Development, National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, First Secure Bank & Trust Company, American Red Cross of the Illinois River Valley, and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center Community Leadership Board.

Johnson also has over 15 years of engineering, manufacturing, and senior management experience in a variety of defense/aerospace businesses that preceded his transition to academia in 2001. Within the marketing research industry, he founded and served as the chair of Information Resources, Inc.’s Analytics Advisory Board from 2003-2008, and led that company’s efforts to establish a global research and development function.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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