SYLVANIA, OH: The Lourdes University Board of Trustees announced that William J. Bisset, Ph.D., has been named the 12th President of Lourdes University. Dr. Bisset is currently Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Marymount University, where he has served since 2020. He will take the helm of Lourdes University on July 1, 2023.

Following a comprehensive national search led by trustees, and members of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the Lourdes Board and the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania unanimously approved the appointment on March 9.

“Dr. Bisset has held senior-level positions at four nationally recognized colleges and universities,” says Lourdes Board Chair William Carroll. “Much of his work at Marymount University and Manhattan College has been in precisely those areas the Lourdes Board identified as priorities in its presidential search. He was the Board’s unanimous choice to lead Lourdes University into our exciting future.”


William J. Bisset, Ph.D. 

Dr. William J. Bisset has 34 years of experience in Catholic higher education administration, including key leadership roles at Marymount and Manhattan College.

Under his leadership, Manhattan College and Marymount University experienced record growth in their undergraduate and graduate applicant pools while remaining faithful to their mission-centric commitments of serving diverse students and families of modest financial means.

His innovative initiatives helped make Manhattan one of the most ethnically diverse Catholic colleges in the United States and Marymount the only federally designated Hispanic-serving institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“My tenures at Marymount and Manhattan have afforded me opportunities to gain the experience needed to address challenges that Lourdes and other mission-based, tuition-dependent institutions will face in the coming years,” says Dr. Bisset, whose roles have also included positions at Assumption and Saint Anselm Colleges.

“My diverse professional experiences and personal qualities closely match those needed to lead Lourdes University during these challenging times in American higher education. I appreciate the value of working closely with a University’s deans and faculty to successfully grow graduate and continuing education programs and have done so both at Manhattan College and Marymount University. As Lourdes University’s next president, I will bring a unique depth of administrative experience in higher education; a collaborative, energetic leadership style; and an unwavering commitment to integrity and excellence.”

In addition to a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy from Seton Hall University, Dr. Bisset received a Master of Education degree in Educational Administration, Policy, and Planning from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Saint Anselm College.

Dr. Bisset will take over from Terry M. Keller, Ph.D., who has successfully led the university on an interim basis since October 2022.


Lourdes University

Lourdes University is a Catholic and Franciscan institution established in 1958 by the Sisters of St. Francis. Offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, Lourdes is known for its quality academic programs and personalized attention afforded to students. Accredited by nine national and regional educational organizations, Lourdes students can major in several arts and sciences, business and leadership, social sciences, and nursing programs. The robust liberal arts education and Franciscan-inspired service learning requirement ensure students receive a holistic education that prepares them for professional and personal success.

Lourdes University is a proudly sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Sylvania, Ohio. The Sisters of St. Francis are Third Order Regular Franciscans, living in the community as vowed religious according to the spirit and example of Francis of Assisi. As women of peace and seekers of justice, they are committed to serving God’s people through diverse ministries in 10 Dioceses in seven states.