The interim president of St. John's University will step down at the end of this academic year, the private college announced last week.

Eugene McAllister, who has led the university in Collegeville, Minn., since August 2019, will return to his family in Montana. The search for his successor will begin immediately.

"His leadership has enabled Saint John's to thrive during a global pandemic, and his passion for the student experience has been visible even across social distance," Dan McKeown, St. John's University board of trustees chairman, and Barb Brandes, chairwoman of the College of St. Benedict board of trustees, said in a joint statement.

McAllister served as president of the University of Great Falls, Mont. — now called Providence University — before coming to St. John's.

The College of St. Benedict board of trustees recently offered a new contract to its interim president, Laurie Hamen.

St. Benedict and St. John's share curriculum, faculty and other resources. Earlier this year, the colleges announced they are working toward naming a single president to oversee both schools.

Ryan Faircloth