Dr. Xavier Cole named president at Loyola University New Orleans, will leave Marquette at end of semester

Arcuri will serve as acting vice president starting May 1

Dr. Xavier Cole, vice president for student affairs, has been named the next president at Loyola University New Orleans; he will leave Marquette at the end of the spring 2023 semester after seven years at the university.

An expert on forming a student experience rooted in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition, Cole is passionate about access and engagement initiatives for first-generation students and students of color in higher education. He will be Loyola New Orleans’ first African American president and only its second lay president.

“Dr. Cole has served the Marquette community, particularly our students, as a person for and with others,” President Michael R. Lovell said. “His genuine care was felt across campus, especially during his leadership of our COVID-19 Response Team. He has positively impacted countless facets of the university, and I look forward to working with him as a presidential colleague at Loyola New Orleans.”

“Dr. Cole has been a model servant leader at Marquette; an individual we could all look to as an example of how best to serve our students in the Ignatian tradition,” said Provost Kimo Ah Yun. “He not only led a dedicated team of student service and development professionals, Dr. Cole also seized every opportunity to advance the university in meaningful ways. He will be an outstanding university president, and we wish him great success in his time at Loyola New Orleans.”

“In 2016, Marquette gave me another opportunity to join the Ignatian network and serve students in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition. What I have found since then is that I truly belong in Jesuit higher education,” Cole said. “My experience here with the students, my colleagues, alumni, trustees—everyone—has been nothing but welcoming and supportive. Marquette gave me the chance to say ‘yes’ to many opportunities, whether leading our COVID-19 Response Team or helping to advance projects on campus designed to create better living and learning experiences for our students. These moments have more than prepared me for my next adventure at Loyola New Orleans.

“Serving alongside the exceptional staff of the Division of Student Affairs has been the privilege of my career. I am a better man for our connection. Please know that I’m forever grateful for Marquette, which will always hold a special place in my heart. Go Marquette!”

In addition to leading the Division of Student Affairs, Cole led Marquette’s Mission Priority Examen process for the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in 2019-20, affirming Marquette’s Jesuit, Catholic mission, and he also served as chair of Marquette’s COVID-19 Response Team.

Prior to Marquette, Cole was vice president for student affairs and dean of students at Washington College, a small liberal arts institution in Chestertown, Maryland. Cole previously served the Division of Student Development at Loyola University Maryland for 20 years, leaving in 2014 as assistant vice president.

Cole currently serves as chair for the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Executive Doctorate Alumni Board. From 2017-22, he was vice chair and director of the education committee on the board of Messmer Catholic Schools, a K-12 network of Catholic schools serving Milwaukee’s north and west sides.

A native Mississippian, Cole earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Mississippi, his master’s in history from Miami University (Ohio) and his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Cole’s dissertation research focused on mission and identity programs at three Jesuit universities and their impact on mission leadership for laypersons.

Rick Arcuri named acting vice president for student affairs, effective May 1

Rick Arcuri, executive director of business operations and auxiliary services in the Division of Student Affairs, will serve as acting vice president for student affairs, Provost Ah Yun announced today. Arcuri, who has been at Marquette for 35 years, will step into the new role on May 1.

In his more than three decades at the university, Arcuri has held several positions in Student Affairs, including residence hall director, facilities manager, and assistant and associate dean of residence life. He was honored with an Excellence in University Service Award in 2018.

“I am privileged to help lead the Division of Student Affairs during this transition, and I look forward to continued collaboration with my colleagues and working with students as Marquette works to identify the next permanent vice president for student affairs,” Arcuri said.

Marquette will form a committee to begin a national search for the next vice president for student affairs. Watch Marquette Today for updates.