SOUTH ORANGE -- Seton Hall University is looking for a new president.
The school announced Thursday President A. Gabriel Esteban will be leaving at the end of the academic year to take the top job at DePaul University in Chicago.
"It has been a great privilege and honor to serve as Seton Hall's president," Esteban said in a statement about the decision.President A. Gabriel Esteban in a file photo. (John Munson | The Star-Ledger)
"This was a very difficult decision to make since I have come to know and respect so many members of the university community including students, members of the priest community, faculty, staff, alumni and board members. I am leaving with a heavy heart but I am confident that the university's tremendous progress in recent years will continue."
Esteban will be the first lay president of DePaul, the largest Catholic university in the country.
Seton Hall officials released statements Thursday expressing gratitude to Esteban, who has served as the school's president since 2011.
During his tenure, the school created a new Seton Hall School of Medicine and a new college of communication and the arts. School officials also said the university reached a fundraising "all-time high" under Esteban, raising about $40 million over the last year and a half.
"Working closely with Dr. Esteban for these past years has been a blessing," said Seton Hall Board of Regents Chairman Patrick Murray.
"He has been a great university president and with his leadership Seton Hall has made tremendous progress and growth."
The university will start the search for a new president before Esteban leaves. He starts at DePaul July 1, the school said.
Officials at DePaul University said current President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, who has held the role since 2004, announced last June he would be stepping down. The Board of Trustees unanimously approved Esteban's appointment on Feb. 6, the school said.
"Dr. Esteban brings both extensive experience in higher education and strategic planning to DePaul University," William E. Bennett, chair of the DePaul Board of Trustees, said in a statement.
"I am confident he will preserve and continue to enhance DePaul's reputation for academic excellence, as well as the university's Catholic and Vincentian mission."
Esteban holds a bachelor's in mathematics and an MBA at the University of the Philippines, a master's in Japanese business studies from Chaminade University in Hawaii, and a doctorate in business administration from University of California, Irvine. Before working at Seton Hall, he held positions at the University of Central Arkansas and Arkansas Tech University.
He and his wife, Josephine, have one daughter, a medical resident at the University of Chicago.A Conversation with Dr. Gabriel Esteban, DePaul's 12th president
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