The University of the Incarnate Word Reaches Out to Montana for New President

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June 27, 2017
Article originally featured in the San Antonio Business Journal by W. Scott Bailey
The University of the Incarnate Word’s search for a new president is over. The San Antonio school named Thomas Evans to succeed Lou Agnese, who was removed as president of UIW after 31 years as its leader in August.
Evans, who will be the 10th president at UIW, comes to San Antonio from Helena, Montana, where he has spent the last five years as president of Carroll College. At Carroll, Evans developed and implemented a Vision 2018 strategic plan and led multiple capital campaigns.
Prior to joining Carroll College, Evans spent 16 years at St. Edwards University in Austin. While there, he served in various roles, including associate vice president of professional education and global initiatives. According to Carroll College officials, Evans’ last day at the Montana campus will be July 31.
Dannette Sullivan, who chairs Carroll College’s board of trustees, said in a statement that Evans “has been an extraordinary leader” who has provided “transformational leadership.”
In August 2016, I reported that the UIW board had voted unanimously to remove Agnese as president, beginning a national search for a successor. Denise Doyle was appointed acting president by the board in the aftermath of comments Agnese reportedly made about minorities and Mormons.
UIW experienced tremendous growth under Agnese’s leadership. He told me last June, “We are the third largest private university in Texas. By 2020, we will be the largest private university in Texas — and No. 1 in the country for the graduation of Hispanics.”
It was clear during that interview that Agnese, who has since been named president emeritus at UIW, had no plans to leave the university anytime soon.
“I could have left here a long time ago,” he told me. “My decision was to build a university I could be proud of. I’m not there yet. I’ll be there by 2020.”Now, Evans will lead UIW into the next decade.
Carroll College officials say that, on Evans watch, the school experienced record levels of enrollment and retention and was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 regional college in the West for several consecutive years.
Evans noted in a letter to students and colleagues at Carroll College that “what we have accomplished together is incredible.”
W. Scott Bailey covers health care, tourism, sports business, economic development; he also plans and edits some special reports.
Scott Bailey, Reporter
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