Newman University announces the retirement of President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D.

May 14, 2019

President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., is set to retire at the end of 2019.

Teresa Hall Bartels, chair of the Newman University Board of Trustees, announced May 14 that Carrocci will retire Dec. 31, 2019, capping a successful tenure that featured first-time student growth, increased retention and graduation rates, expanded business partnerships and the construction of the region’s top science facility and nursing and allied health labs.

“Noreen has really put Newman University on the map in the region by being such a great ambassador for the university and working in partnerships with so many organizations to make Wichita a better place,” Bartels said. “She has put both her professional as well as her personal time into building up opportunities for people to advance and gain the education that they need for better jobs and better lives.”

Bartels added, “On behalf of everyone at Newman, I want to personally thank Noreen for her leadership and dedication to our students and her passion for our school’s mission of empowering graduates to transform society.”

Carrocci took over as president of Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, in 2007. She was the fourth female and first laywoman to hold the presidency. Since arriving on campus, the first-time student population grew 67%. The four-year graduation rate improved by 30%, and student retention rates are at an all-time high.

Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D., poses with Board of Trustees member Brian Black at the 2019 Commencement Ceremony.

“My time at Newman has been a blessing both professionally and personally. I am thankful to our students, staff and faculty members and especially the Adorers of the Blood of Christ for their constant support over the years,” Carrocci said. “I am grateful as well for all of the Board of Trustees members who have served the university and provided guidance along the way.  

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as president of this great university for the past 12 years. I believe that January 2020 is the right time for my husband and me to begin a new chapter of our lives together. I imagine that I will stay involved with causes that I care deeply about because that’s who I am. I look forward to a new steward taking over the president’s role and leading Newman into what I believe is a bright future.”

Since the university’s founding in 1933, Newman University has played a major role in the education of physicians, nurses and other health care professionals throughout Wichita, the state of Kansas and around the world.

Newman health science graduates consistently score high on national licensing exams. Newman also participates in a unique private-public partnership with the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita that brings first-year medical students to Newman for anatomy instruction and labs.

Student outcomes data show that 71% of Newman graduates are employed in their field of study, versus a 27% national average. Seventy-five percent of Newman’s teacher education graduates are still teaching in the classroom five years after graduation, well above the 50% national average. Newman graduates from a variety of disciplines are regularly accepted into top graduate programs across the country.

During Carrocci’s leadership, the university has added numerous new degree programs, including new Bachelor of Social Work and Business Data Analytics programs scheduled for launch in fall, 2019.

Carrocci has helped lead partnership efforts with the Diocese of Wichita that brought the St. Joseph House of Formation and Seminary program to Newman, which expands to a four-year program in the 2019-20 academic year. This partnership is the cornerstone of the university’s newest college, the School of Catholic Studies.

Noreen talks with Father Michael Simone (left) and Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber during the 2017 Gerber Banquet.

She oversaw the Facing Forward campaign, the largest fundraising effort in the history of the university. The campaign resulted in the construction of the Bishop Gerber Science Center, a state-of-the-art bioscience facility, and upgrades to labs for Newman’s highly recognized nursing and allied health programs.

Additionally, Newman became the only private university in Kansas to compete in NCAA Division II during Carrocci’s time as president. The school joins the MIAA in August 2019, one of the premier Division II conferences in the country.

Carrocci serves on numerous boards regionally and nationally. She earned her Ph.D. (1979) and Master of Arts (1977) at the University of Kansas in speech communication and human relations, and her Bachelor of Arts (1975) at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in speech communication and psychology.

Newman University will immediately begin a nationwide search for its next president.