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AMU's Legal VP Will Leave in October

Bill Kirk, Ave Maria University's Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, has resigned effective Oct. 21, AMU President Jim Towey announced in an email to university staff and faculty.

Mr. Kirk will be taking a position as the executive director of the Catholic Education Foundation, an organization with the archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas that provides scholarships to attend Catholic schools. He came to Ave Maria in 2012 in the dual role of VP of Student Affairs and General Counsel, then shifted about a year later to work full time on legal and other business matters. Before AMU he spent a few years in business after serving for more than 20 years as a senior manager at the University of Notre Dame. A call to Mr. Kirk's office was not returned.

He is the fourth AMU vice president to either leave or be replaced this year. Kevin Joyce resigned as VP of Institutional Advancement in January, Julie Cosden, VP of Student Affairs, left at the start of the fall term and Gabriel Martinez, the interim VP of Academic Affairs, left that position in May, 2016, and was replaced on a permanent basis by Seana Sugrue, who was an associate professor of politics at AMU. In addition, the university's director of admissions, Billee Silva, was fired in February. Her replacement, Karen Full, was hired before the start of the fall term.

The churn in senior management at AMU comes at a time when enrollment growth appears to have stalled. Mr. Towey said in an email to staff and faculty that the university welcomed 350 new students this fall, which according to statistics on the school's website is about 12 percent lower than last year when the number of new undergraduates was about 390 – virtually unchanged from 2014. Total enrollment at the start of the 2016 fall term, Mr. Towey said, was 1,102, down slightly from 1,110 from a year earlier.

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