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UIW announces new president
June 2, 2017

THOMAS EVANS / Photo Courtesy University of the Incarnate Word

By Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News

The University of the Incarnate Word has named Thomas Evans as the school's next president, the university announced Thursday.

Evans is currently the president of Carroll College, a small Catholic liberal arts college in Helena, Montana, a role he has held for five years. Previously, he worked at St. Edward's University in Austin for more than a decade, where he was eventually named associate vice president of professional education and global initiatives.

He will replace Lou Agnese, whose three-decade tenure as UIW president ended last fall when the university's governing board voted to remove him after he made racially charged comments at a student luncheon. Agnese remained on medical leave and about a week later announced his retirement, effective at the end of 2016. The board has since named him president emeritus and trustee emeritus.

Denise Doyle, who previously held the positions of chancellor and provost at UIW, has been serving as acting president.

Evans will be introduced to the community on June 13, a university news release said. A UIW spokeswoman declined to make anyone at the university available for interviews to talk about the selection Thursday and did not provide any statements from current school officials.

Carroll College officials also declined to comment on Evans, saying they were deferring to UIW leaders at the university's request.

Evans has a doctorate in higher education administration and a master's degree in Asian studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Agnese on Thursday commended the selection, saying Evans seemed "highly qualified" since he came from another faith-based, private school and had already lived and worked in Texas. If the board had chosen someone from a public university or a community college, Agnese said he would have been concerned.

"You have to understand private higher education, which is very unique," he said, adding that it was also important for presidents to understand "the Catholic dimension" of the university.

Additionally, the fact that Evans has a background in international studies and has lived in Japan helps make him a good fit for UIW, Agnese said, considering the university's expansions to Mexico and Germany.

"He's done a great job at Carroll College, and I think he's the right choice to move the university along," Agnese said. "So I'm pleased."


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