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Dr. Keith Elder Appointed 22nd President of Saint Xavier University


Saint Xavier University (SXU) proudly appoints 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.

"We are grateful for the valuable contributions of our Presidential Search Committee and the tremendous service of Interim President Rebecca Sherrick. Our community has done great work over the past year in building a new culture of innovation and collaboration on campus, and we eagerly anticipate partnering with Dr. Elder to continue to build on this upward trajectory," said Board Chair Tasha Henderson.

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 is a member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health. 

"I am honored to serve as the next president of Saint Xavier University and look forward to working with this remarkable student-centered, mission-focused community. Saint Xavier has a longstanding and impressive history and is known for opening doors to bright futures, and I am eager to help build upon the institution's stellar reputation," said Elder.