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Ave Maria University Hires New VP of Student Affairs

wkirk1William W. Kirk, who headed the Residence Life office at Notre Dame University, has been hired as Ave Maria University's new Vice President of Student Affairs, AMU President Jim Towey announced Monday.

A lawyer who also taught at Notre Dame, Mr. Kirk will serve as the university's first General Counsel in addition to his Student Affairs duties. He replaces longtime student affairs head Dan Dentino, who resigned earlier in the summer for personal reasons.

Mr. Kirk has been working recently as the director of administration and Corporate Counsel for a firm of architects, engineers and scientists, WJE Associates, based in Chicago.

He was abruptly dismissed from his position as associate vice president of Residence Life at Notre Dame in the fall of 2010 after 21 years at the college. Many on the Notre Dame campus saw the move as related to the fact that Mr. Kirk was the only senior administration official to publicly denounce Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to deliver the school's commencement address in 2009. One faculty member, David Solomon, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, also wrote in 2010 that he believed the head Notre Dame football coach at the time, Charlie Weis, was upset that Mr. Kirk insisted that athletes adhere to the same Residence Life policies as all other students.

"We are very fortunate to have a man of Bill's qualifications, experience, and devotion to Catholic higher education and advancement of mission," Mr. Towey said in his announcement. He said that Ave Maria University trustee Michael Novak "was quick to bring his resume to my attention when the vacancy in Student Affairs arose."

Mr. Kirk's wife, Elizabeth, served  for five years as the Associate Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture and she had also taught at the Ave Maria School of Law when it was located in Michigan. Mr. Towey, in his announcement, expressed the hope that Mrs. Kirk will also be able to help the university with special projects. "With three children under the age of 5, she will have her hands full," Mr. Towey said, "But I am confident that she will be able to lend her formidable skills, intellect and energy to helping Ave Maria University grow in excellence and national prominence."

Mr. Kirk will begin work at AMU Aug. 15.


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