The Rev. James P. Burns has been named president of St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, a private Catholic university based in Winona.
Burns, a Minnesota native and graduate of the St. Paul Seminary, has been a dean and associate professor at Boston College since 2010. He will become St. Mary’s 14th president in July, the university announced Tuesday.
Mary Ann Remick, chairwoman of the board of trustees, called Burns “an ideal candidate” to run the 106-year-old university, which has 5,700 undergraduate and graduate students at its two campuses in Winona and Minneapolis. Remick cited his “demonstrated success in the areas of enrollment growth, philanthropy, online education and international partnerships.”
Burns will succeed Brother William Mann, who is retiring at the end of May after 10 years as president of St. Mary’s.
“I know my successor will come with gifts and talents and dreams,” Mann said in a statement, “and that’s going to be wonderful.”
Burns, who is originally from St. Paul, called it an honor to be chosen. He was previously an associate professor of psychology at the University of St. Thomas, and an assistant professor of psychology and religion at Boston University.
He holds advanced degrees in psychology from St. Thomas and Northeastern University in Boston, and a master’s degree from the St. Paul Seminary’s School of Divinity. He is also a licensed psychologist.