President announces Wile replacements
The job responsibilities that belonged to former Chief of Staff Robert Wile have been split among a handful of top University officials, Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., interim President of
the University, announced Thursday.
Joseph E. Oliva, General Counsel to the University, will continue in his current role while also overseeing the Athletics Department. Edward M. Kull has taken over the role of acting vice president of Institutional Advancement. And the Division of External Relations, which previously reported to Wile, will now go to Martha K. Hirst, executive vice president, chief operating officer and treasurer.
Wile, who resigned last summer, previously oversaw Athletics in addition to his duties as Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Chief of Staff to former President, Rev.
Donald J. Harrington, C.M., Oliva said.
“I think the President, coming in as a new person, was just looking for the better fits,” Oliva told the TORCH.
Oliva said he previously helped put together some of the major contracts, helped negotiate those contracts and assisted Athletic Director, Chris Monasch and Harrington in regards to Big
“I will continue to have legal oversight over those parts of the program, but at the same time assume these additional business oversight responsibilities,” he said.
Those business responsibilities include getting involved with managing the Athletics Department’s budget, managing personnel issues, and strategic planning with Monasch, the staff
Kull’s responsibilities as acting vice president of Institutional Advancement will focus on fundraising, he told the Torch.
“I am responsible for all of our fundraising and alumni relation needs,” he said. “So any revenue generation or fundraising we’re doing from the University side [and] all of our engagement with alumni relations.”
Previously, Kull held the title of associate chief of staff after returning from working with Vitamin Water and Coca Cola in 2011. During some of that time, he worked closely with Wile while gaining a familiarity with the Institutional Advancement division located in the old University Commons, he said.
Kull worked in Athletics from 2003 until his departure to the business world in 2006. As associate chief of staff, he supported both Athletics and Institutional Advancement.
“I still have athletic development, I just no longer have any involvement on the athletics piece overall – just Athletic fundraising,” Kull said. “Fundraising
is all underneath the one umbrella.”
Kull, who began his career at St. John’s as associate athletic director for marketing and external affairs, said he spends his day in the University Commons with the division, though
his office is based in Newman Hall.
“I’ve actually tried to provide clear objectives, themes and goals and standards for all of our IA
division folks,” he said.
Those goals focus on engagement with alumni and current students to connect them with the University, which results in donations, he said.
“It’s kind of similar to any other retail product or service or brand extension, but unlike those where you’re trying to convince someone why they need something, we’re trying to find what their passion point within St.
John’s was,” Kull said.
Hirst will now oversee three departments, Levesque announced. They are the Division of Student Affairs, overseen by Kathryn Hutchinson, vice president; the Office of University Events, led by Pamela Shea-Byrnes, vice president and the Division of External Relations, led by Associate Vice President Dominic Scianna.
Scianna previously reported to Wile, while Hutchinson reported to Rev. James Maher, C.M., who became president of Niagara University this summer and Shea-Byrnes went to
Harrington, according to Scianna.
“I believe this administrative realignment will maximize our leadership team’s talents and effectiveness,” Levesque said in the email.