With an eye on stability and proven leadership skills, the Very Rev. James P. Burns, IVD, Ph.D., Saint Mary’s president, announced James (Jim) Bedtke will assume an interim senior vice president role October 16. On August 23, Benjamin (Ben) Murray’96 announced he had accepted the role as CFO of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) and has since worked closely with key leadership to prepare for his October departure. The office of the president will launch a national search for a permanent chief financial officer by the end of the month.

Murray currently leads the finance, human resources, IT, institutional effectiveness, facilities planning, and campus operations teams. Upon his departure, departments will be divided into three tracks. Bedtke will oversee the departments of finance, IT, facilities

James Bedtke

planning, campus operations, and geospatial services, while the departments of human resources and strategic planning will report directly to the president’s office. Institutional effectiveness will report to the provost’s office.

“It is a bittersweet time for us as we show appreciation for all that Ben has done and been about. As he begins this exciting next chapter in his vocational journey, we know he will be greatly missed at Saint Mary’s. That is why, when determining the next best steps about this time of transition, we turned to Jim Bedtke. Jim has provided us with interim leadership through various transitions in the past and will provide stability for our university today. He knows what needs to be done and is devoted to the success of Saint Mary’s and our faculty, staff and students.” said Father Burns. “Jim is a loyal and trusted leader, who has consistently demonstrated his love for Saint Mary’s and our mission. I am personally grateful to him for stepping into this role while we embark upon a formal search for a chief financial officer at Saint Mary’s.”

“I am honored to serve the president and the university with the accumulation of experience that I have gained during my 40 years at Saint Mary’s. I actually started as a faculty member in the Business Department, where I taught marketing and international business. Brother Louis DeThomasis, the president, promoted me to be dean of the School of Business, Computer Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Later, I served as vice president for Winona-based graduate programs, associate vice president for academic affairs of the College, associate provost, and vice president for SGPP,” said Bedtke. “For decades, the alumni of our university have demonstrated the value and impact of the Lasallian Catholic education they receive at Saint Mary’s. That remains at the core of what makes Saint Mary’s special to all of us.”

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