Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. served thirty-two years as a college and university president—effectively saving and transforming Keuka College and Saint Leo University. Prior to assuming Keuka College’s presidency in 1984, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Misericordia University for five years where he also led a transformational turnaround, as chief operating officer, reversing years of decline and putting the institution on a path to sustainable prosperity.
Dr. Kirk retired from the presidency of Saint Leo University in the summer of 2015. In his over eighteen years at the helm, Saint Leo University grew from a small campus of 730 students with a total student population of 7,100, most of them on 15 military bases, to a thriving campus of over 2,300 students and over 16,500 students total taking classes at over 40 locations in seven states and online. He built one of the largest and most respected online education programs among private, non-profit colleges in the nation. As part of that growth, Saint Leo University became the third largest catholic university with the largest catholic university school of business in the nation. Under Dr. Kirk’s leadership, Saint Leo’s annual revenues grew from $26 million in 1997 to over $170 million in 2015. Net assets grew from $19 million to over $175 million. The university’s endowment increased more than tenfold and the combination of endowment and cash reserves exceeded $100 million when he retired, up from $6 million in 1997.