Alverno Welcomes New Academic Leader

Alverno welcomes Joseph Foy, PhD, as our new vice president for Academic Affairs. Foy comes to Alverno from Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wis., where he was dean of the faculty.

Foy, who took on his new role on April 15, serves as Alverno’s chief academic officer and contributes to the implementation of the College’s strategic plan. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll College in Montana and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame. Foy and his wife, Kristi, are the proud parents of three children: Connor, 11; Keira, 8; and Gavin, 6.

In early March, Foy sat down with Alverno Magazine for an interview. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What drew you to Alverno?
The combination of the mission and the abilities-based approach to  education, as well as the transformative effect that this education has on our students. I’m very excited to be here.

The strategic plan will be a big part of your role here. At Marian, you worked on its strategic plan. Can you tell us about that work?
My responsibility was taking the strategic initiatives that were in fulfillment of the plan, identifying how those would be fleshed out and then working with my colleagues to make sure that we were delivering on that.

One of our strategic initiatives was around transformative education, and so I worked with academic departments to make sure that every major and minor had a signature experience for students. An example is the development of the Muriel Press at Marian University. Poets submit their collections of poetry, and English students review, select, edit and publish one of those poets. Graphic design students design the cover and the layout of the book. Students are also involved in the marketing and the promotion of the book.

What is something that you’ve carried throughout your career?
A very small statute of St. Jude. I was undergoing the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) in graduate school and had taken on St. Jude as a patron because of the connection to the idea of lost and desperate causes. The statue serves as a reminder to always dedicate myself to those communities and individuals who may need additional support. It’s also been a source of strength.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I love spending time with my kids. They are my world. I’ve enjoyed seeing them grow, seeing them experience new things, and being reminded of that
excitement of new discovery.

I absolutely love to cook and to spend time outside grilling. My favorite thing is smoking ribs, which all of my kids really like. Being able to play with my kids outside while that’s going in the background is always really nice.


This article appears in the spring/summer 2020 issue of Alverno Magazine.

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