Benedictine selects Michael Brophy to lead University into the future

June 9, 2015

Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., has been named the 11th president of Benedictine University.Marymount California University president to succeed outgoing Carroll

Lisle, Illinois ~ Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D., current president of Marymount California University in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., has been named the 11th president of Benedictine University by its Board of Trustees, the school announced Tuesday.

Coverage of today's announcement can be viewed here:

Brophy was chosen from a field of national candidates to succeed William J. Carroll, Ph.D., who announced in January that he would step down after leading Benedictine for the past 20 years.

The announcement concluded an extensive search that included a diligent vetting process by a committee of administrators, faculty, staff and board members, and face-to-face question-and-answer sessions with faculty, staff and students.

“After careful consideration of all the final presidential candidates, I am pleased to announce Dr. Michael Brophy has accepted the University’s invitation to be our next president,” said James L. Melsa, Ph.D., chair of the Benedictine University Board of Trustees. “We believe he is the right fit for Benedictine and will embrace the Benedictine values while leading our institution toward even greater future achievements.”

Brophy was among three finalists brought to the Benedictine campus for interviews with the presidential search committee and to meet faculty, staff and students.

Brophy has led the Marymount California University campus since 2006 where he helped transform Marymount – a Catholic university with 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students – from a private two-year college to a multisite university with undergraduate and graduate degree offerings. While there, he spearheaded a facilities improvement project that updated aging facilities and built new living and learning environments and campuses in Los Angeles and Lake County, California.

A Fulbright exchange scholarship recipient who has taught internationally, Brophy served as the campus executive officer and dean of the University of Wisconsin’s (UW) Baraboo campus and associate provost at Long Island University in New York.

“The Catholic mission and community tradition attracted me to Benedictine and I am very excited about the future,” said Brophy, who will assume the presidency of the University in mid-August. “The University community has been incredibly welcoming. My wife and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to become part of this great institution.

“Higher education faces some difficult challenges in the years ahead – increasing government regulation and mandates, a decreasing pool of students, rising costs, competition from community colleges – but I believe that Benedictine University is positioned to meet those challenges,” he added.

Brophy earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin. He has an accomplished career, earning educator and citizen of the year awards, among many other recognitions. Brophy has written, directed and edited three films that have screened around the world at film festivals and universities. In addition, he has accompanied gospel choirs at the State University of New York as a musician and performed with students and faculty at recitals at Marymount California University, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County and The College of Saint Rose.

He currently lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., with his wife Tara and their three children, but will be relocating to the suburban Chicago area to begin his appointment as Benedictine University president.

Benedictine experienced tremendous growth during Carroll’s tenure, including the construction of the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex, the addition of several new buildings, a branch campus in Springfield, Illinois, expansion into Southwest Arizona with a branch campus in Mesa, and developing partnership universities in China and Vietnam.

Carroll said in January he was ready to pass the torch to a new leader who will embrace Benedictine as he has, and lead the school and a new generation of students to continued success in the future.

Benedictine University has been preparing students for leadership roles in their communities and the world at large by providing them with a well-rounded, values-based liberal arts education in the Benedictine and Catholic tradition for more than 128 years.

Known for outstanding programs in science, business, health, education and the liberal arts, Benedictine was recently ranked among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year by Forbes magazine.

As part of a master campus building plan developed during Carroll’s tenure, the University will open a four-story, 125,000-square-foot College of Business building this fall. The Daniel L. Goodwin Hall of Business will feature modern-use classrooms, seminar rooms, computer labs, a 600-seat auditorium and a 40-seat, state-of-the-art, real-time trading laboratory.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has a branch campus in Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 5,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the ninth consecutive year in 2019. Benedictine University was also named the second-safest campus in the country and safest campus in Illinois by in 2019. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For more information about the University, contact (630) 829-6300, or visit

Marketing and Communications

Marketing and Communications
(630) 829-1948

Benedictine University Lisle Campus