Spring Hill College president to retire

Joseph Lee has served as president since 2018.

Joseph Lee
Dr. Joseph Lee

Spring Hill College President Dr. Joseph Lee has announced that he will retire in December, 2022.

Lee was first named interim president in 2018, making him the second layperson to serve in that role at the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and the third oldest Jesuit college in the United States. He was installed as the college’s 38th president in early 2020.

During his tenure, the college outlined new strategic priorities, added new academic programs, strengthened its donor base and further engaged alumni and the local Mobile community.

“This decision has not been an easy one, as Spring Hill has been such an important part of my life during the last three and a half years,” said Lee, who is looking forward to spending more time with his family. “Now is a good time, as the College is positioned for future growth and prosperity. It is with this in mind that I feel now is the time to prepare for new leadership.”

Some of the accomplishments during Lee’s tenure include:

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  • Successfully navigating COVID-19 by transitioning to online learning.
  • Establishing the Center for Online Learning.
  • Adding new academic programs including digital marketing, computer science, entrepreneurship, sport management and supply chain management.
  • Reducing tuition by nearly 50%.

“Dr. Lee’s leadership has been instrumental in sustaining Spring Hill Collee during this unprecedented pandemic environment, strengthening our existing curriculum, initiating a robust academic expansion that enhances the college’s value to our students and promoting the Jesuit identity of ‘cura personalis’ — care and respect for the entire human development,” said Jack McKinney, chairman of the college’s board of trustees.

Prior to coming to Spring Hill, Lee was president at Pine Manor College in Massachusetts, Saint Joseph’s College in Maine and Thomas More University in Kentucky. He also held the post of interim vice president for enrollment management at the University of Maine and was vice president for student services at Merrimack College in Massachusetts.

He is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University prior to earning his Ph.D. in higher education administration from Boston College.

The college will conduct a national search for a new president. 

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