Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content

Presidential Search


Keith Elder HeadshotOn Thursday, January 25, 2024, Saint Xavier University announced the appointment of Keith Elder, Ph.D., MPH, MPA, as its 22nd president. Elder will begin his presidency on March 1, 2024.

President-elect Elder's appointment follows a national search initiated in August 2023 by the Board of Trustees, who tasked the Presidential Search Committee with selecting a candidate whose beliefs, ethics, and entrepreneurial acumen would complement and strengthen SXU's vision and mission.

The University is grateful for the valuable contributions of the Presidential Search Committee and the tremendous service of Interim President Rebecca Sherrick, who has worked in close partnership with the SXU community to build a new culture of innovation and collaboration on campus. The University eagerly anticipates partnering with Dr. Elder to continue to build on this upward trajectory.

With 20 years of service in higher education, Elder brings extensive leadership experience to the University, most recently serving as executive vice president at Mississippi College. Previously, he served as provost at Mississippi College and founding dean and professor of the School of Public Health at Samford University. Elder's doctoral training was completed at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he was a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Minority Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. He also served as chair for the Department of Health Management and Policy in the College for Public Health and Social Justice at Saint Louis University (SLU) and as faculty for the Department of Health Services Policy and Management at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health.

Elder has spent the majority of his higher education career at faith-based institutions and has worked with colleagues to improve student success and access to higher education, regardless of socio-economic status. Elder remains an active scholar committed to evidence-based research that will help inform health programs, health policy, and health care delivery, with a specialized interest in men's health, chronic disease management, health information technology as a means to promote health, aging and disability research, cancer prevention and outcomes, and reducing health disparities and inequities. He's also served as principal investigator or investigator on funded projects by various health associations and institutes and as a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health.

Elder is honored to serve as the next president of Saint Xavier University and looks forward to working with SXU's student-centered, mission-focused community and helping to build upon the institution's stellar reputation.


Position Profile

Learn more

Strategic Direction

Learn more


Learn more

Mission and Values

We seek the ideal candidate whose beliefs, ethics, and motivations complement our vision and mission.

Learn more

Progress Reports

Transparency is paramount for the University, the public, and the candidates. You can visit this site for timely updates on the Search's progress.

Learn more

Search Committee

Learn about the distinguished Search Committee members responsible for interviewing the many qualified candidates.

Learn more

Mercy Higher Education Covenant

Learn more