Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese was named the tenth president of Saint Leo University on July 26, 2018. He served as acting president of the University since the retirement of William J. Lennox Jr. on April 30, 2018. Previously, Senese was the University’s first provost and Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and provided oversight of all educational programs offered at the main campus, at its 35 education centers, and online.
President Senese earned his bachelor’s degree in the administration of justice from the Pennsylvania State University. He went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in criminology from Indiana State University and a Ph.D. in criminal justice/research methods/statistics from Michigan State University. He also completed the Institute for Higher Education Management at Harvard University and the Academic Management Institute at the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems in Boulder, Colorado, as well as the Pennsylvania State University Leadership Academy. His higher education also includes a certificate in fundraising from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Senese has served as a reviewer for several regional higher education accreditors (NEASC and Middle States) as well as several program accreditors and state-level accreditation reviews (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire).
After graduating from Michigan State University, Dr. Senese was a faculty member at Indiana University and then the University of Baltimore, a member institution of the University of Maryland System. Dr. Senese engaged in extensive funded national research work with the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Defense on use of force, among several other topics. The extensive list of Dr. Senese’s academic achievements beyond his teaching roles include the publication of a methods book, dozens of professional article publications, book chapters, and other publications. Dr. Senese has also presented an impressive list of professional papers, provided interviews to various media outlets, and served as a speaker for many educational and community conferences and events.
From 1996 through 2018, Dr. Senese served as a department chair and then associate dean at the University of Baltimore. He then was appointed the chief academic officer of one of the Penn State campuses and, following that appointment, was selected as the Academic Vice President for Academic Affairs at Mount Ida College. He then served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Philadelphia University followed by service as the Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice Provost of Johnson & Wales University-Providence. Previous to joining Saint Leo University, Dr. Senese served as the first provost at Cardinal Stritch University and then came to Saint Leo as its first provost.
Dr. Senese has extensive international work experiences in Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is a member of the Global Listening Center’s Advisory Board, a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, and an immediate past member of the Board of the Urban League of Milwaukee. He has been recognized by the State of Maryland, City of Baltimore, and Baltimore City Council for his contributions during nearly a decade of service in that community.
He and his wife, Alicia, have two children: Mia, a recent graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and Daniel, a student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.