St. Thomas will revise its hiring practices

0

The University of St. Thomas is reviewing its hiring process after allegations that its former business school dean, who had ties to a former pope, fought his way to the top spot.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Chris Evans is on administrative leave until the end of the exam because he oversaw the appointment of Dean Mario Enzler, officials said.

“I am confident that the Cameron School of Business and UST will come out of this stronger,” President Richard L. Ludwick said in an email Friday to students, faculty and staff at the private Catholic university. “Working with Cameron’s faculty and staff, we will find a new Dean to lead us toward a shared future that continues to serve students as only UST can, preparing them to make the world a better place.”

The university chose Enzler to head the Cameron School in June 2020. Several business professors have said he was an unconventional choice from the start, given that he did not have a terminal degree in business – a requirement stated in the job posting. He instead listed a Doctor of Music and a Bachelor of Classics, and it wasn’t until two years later that faculty members said they discovered these were allegedly not legitimate.

The Italian-born educator, however, has documented roots in the high levels of the Catholic community, being a former Swiss Guard to Pope John Paul II. Enzler said he also met Mother Teresa around this time and later wrote a book about knowing the saints.

According to his resume, Enzler was a private banker for about 16 years. He co-founded a classical high school in New Hampshire with his wife, he said, and he taught at the Catholic University of America’s Busch School of Business and Economics for four years. (The university confirmed his employment.)

Members of the dean’s recruiting committee said they used a recruiting firm before selecting two qualified candidates, neither of whom was Enzler.

Evans, the vice president of academic affairs, himself gave Enzler’s resume to the team, said David Schein, committee member and director of graduate programs at the business school. While listing such notable references as Cardinal Daniel DiNardo in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, Schein said the committee told Evans it felt Enzler was unqualified.

“Chris came back and said to interview him anyway,” Schein said. “It was pretty clear that we had to interview Mario.”

After the interview, the committee informed Evans that it would make another recommendation, Schein said. The vice president then disbanded the committee and selected Enzler, he said.

Schein and several other teachers said the next two years went badly. John Simms, an associate professor of accounting, said he suspected Enzler of being fraudulent when he said he didn’t know about the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the accrediting agency for business schools. . Simms and several equally concerned professors began reviewing Enzler’s resume.

Among several discrepancies, they found that the Italian conservatory where Enzler said he earned a doctorate does not offer a doctorate, and the institution where he said he earned a bachelor’s degree is in fact a high school.

They sent university administrators a letter in April outlining their allegations.

In his email to the university community, Ludwick said the university reviewed Enzler’s credentials over the summer and gave him the opportunity to refute their findings. He then resigned.

The university has since appointed Hans Stockton, associate vice president for international relations and engagement at the Center for International Studies, as vice president for academic affairs while the university conducts its review. A steering committee has also been selected to serve as the university searches for a new business school dean, Ludwick said.

[email protected]

www.houstonchronicle.com

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.