University of Saint Francis names Dr. Lance Richey as president

FORT WAYNE, Ind.— The University of Saint Francis is pleased to announce that the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration—the university’s sponsoring congregation—appointed Dr. Lance Richey as its next president. Dr. Richey has served as interim president since last May. 

Dr. Richey will be inaugurated in a campus ceremony on June 7. The appointment follows a national presidential search.

“I am incredibly honored and excited to serve the University of Saint Francis as its next president,” Dr. Richey said. “By providing students with an intellectually rigorous education that is firmly rooted in the Catholic, Christian tradition, Saint Francis has been transforming lives and serving the Church and world for 134 years. As the first lay person to lead the university, I want to thank the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and the Board of Trustees for their trust in me. As the university begins planning for the next era in its history, I want everyone to know that its mission and values will continue to guide all we do. Now more than ever, the world needs the excellent, faith-based education for which Saint Francis is known and loved.”

The Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration and the Saint Francis Board of Trustees expressed their excitement as Dr. Richey becomes Saint Francis’ 11th president.

“We are very grateful to Dr. Lance Richey for serving as interim president this past year and we warmly welcome him to serve as the next president of the University of Saint Francis,” Provincial Superior Sr. Margaret Mary Mitchel, OSF, said. “Dr. Richey has a deep love for the university and its Catholic and Franciscan mission. He has been an exemplary model of faithfulness and dedicated service during his 13 years at Saint Francis. We offer him our heartfelt congratulations and assure him of our prayerful support as we go forward together following Christ in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi.”

“The Board of Trustees joins the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration in enthusiastically welcoming Dr. Richey as our new president,” Board of Trustees Chair Richard A. Poinsatte said. “Dr. Richey’s faithful service to the University of Saint Francis is well-documented, and his commitment to its mission makes him the right person to lead the university. We are all very optimistic about the future of the University of Saint Francis under his leadership.”

As interim president, Dr. Richey led Saint Francis in creating an inclusive budgeting process to strengthen university finances, led the design and submission of a Lilly Campus Community Collaboration grant proposal and worked to strengthen Catholic culture across campus. 

Dr. Richey holds the rank of Professor of Theology and has served Saint Francis in several capacities over the last 13 years, most recently as vice president for academic affairs from April 2018 to May 2023. Prior to that, Dr. Richey served more than four years as dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He also previously served as director of the John Duns Scotus Honors Program.

Dr. Richey holds doctorates in Philosophy and Religious studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has published widely in both disciplines. He also holds a Certificate of Pre-Theological Studies from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to joining Saint Francis, Dr. Richey taught at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Conception Seminary College; and Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Dr. Richey and his wife Carol have five children, all of whom have earned or are earning degrees at Saint Francis.

Media interested in interviewing Dr. Richey should contact Saint Francis Communications Director Reggie Hayes at or 260-399-7700, ext. 6413.

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the College of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences and Business. In addition to its traditional programs, Saint Francis designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the music technology program while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis, recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution, has 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships. Approximately 1,900 students from a broad geographic region attend Saint Francis.