After 10 years with the University of Portland (UP), including the last seven as its 20th president, Rev. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C., is stepping away from the presidency on June 30, 2021. Poorman made the announcement last Thursday in a message to UP community members. It was also announced by the UP Board of Regents that Rev. James (Jim) M. Lies, C.S.C., (pronounced LEASE) will serve as interim president effective July 1, 2021.
“After nearly 10 years on The Bluff – and after much prayer, discernment and consultation – I have decided to finish my tenure as University of Portland president after the conclusion of the academic year, at the end of June,” said Poorman in his message to the UP students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents. “I have received permission from the Provincial Superior of the U.S. Province of Holy Cross to take a sabbatical prior to an anticipated return to teaching, writing, and pastoral ministry.”
Poorman added, “I step away from this role with tremendous gratitude for all that we have accomplished as a University community. Thanks to God’s grace and the brilliance and dedication of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, benefactors, Regents and friends, UP is stronger now than at any point in its 120-year history.”
“We want to thank Father Mark for his ten years of dedicated service to the University of Portland community,” said Thomas Arndorfer, Chair of the UP Board of Regents. “Not only has he provided academic leadership but also religious guidance during difficult times. We wish him all the best as he plans for a return to teaching. May God be with him in his future endeavors.”
Father Jim Lies will assume the UP interim president’s role after serving in the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway for the past four years, most recently serving as the interim senior director for Academic Initiatives and Partnerships. He began his academic career here at UP where he served on the faculty and directed the Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life & American Culture, before being named vice president for mission at Stonehill College, another institution of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Easton, Massachusetts.
“Along with the President’s Leadership Cabinet and the Provost’s Council, I am committed to ensuring a smooth transition to our interim president,” said Poorman. “Until then, there is still much to be done here on campus as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19, further strengthen our University’s financial standing, assure a strong class of incoming first-year students, and prepare for a primarily in-person Fall 2021 Semester. I look forward to continuing our efforts in these areas through the end of June.”