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Assumption University selects author and former political consultant as school’s 17th president

Assumption President Greg Weiner.Rob Carlin

Assumption University in Worcester has selected author and former political consultant Greg Weiner as the school’s 17th president, making him the first non-Catholic to lead the Catholic liberal arts school, founded in 1904.

On Monday, the university’s board of trustees announced the selection of Weiner, who had served as interim president since April.

“We want to renew our commitment to what is unique about an Assumption education,” Weiner said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “Which is the liberal arts tradition and continuing to pair that with students’ interest in professional preparation and living lives of purpose.”

That type of education is “uniquely important” in the world today, he said.

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“There is a demand for students who can grapple with complicated questions,” Weiner said. “There are opportunities, I think, for growth in terms of our student body, in terms of the direction of our academic programs. I see it as a very exciting time for our institution.”

Asked about the historic nature of his appointment as a Jewish man at the helm of a Catholic university, Weiner said he hoped “first and foremost” that the focus remains on “my commitment” to the campus.

A Catholic liberal arts education “speaks universally” and takes on pressing questions relevant to everyone, Weiner said. The issues that students and faculty consider speak ”directly to questions of the human heart,” he added.

Weiner was initially appointed associate professor and became a full professor before rising in 2019 to the job of provost and vice president of academic affairs, the university said.

He came to the university in 2011 to teach political science, following a prominent consulting career in Washington, D.C.

Weiner has served as an officer of the university’s Representative Faculty Senate and received the Student Government Association’s first Above and Beyond award for faculty in recognition of his dedication to the campus. He has also received the Paul Ziegler Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship, the university said.

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Weiner’s articles have appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as several magazines, the university said. He has written four books on American political thought and worked before his academic tenure as as an aide to several US senators. He founded the Beltway-based speech-writing firm Content Communications.

“Dr. Weiner has demonstrated a strong commitment to the university’s Catholic educational mission since first setting foot on the Assumption campus,” said Very Rev. Dennis M. Gallagher, vice chair of the trustees. “He is a man of deep faith, compassion, and character who brings great energy, innovative ideas, and humble leadership to everything he undertakes.”

Gallagher’s words were echoed in the statement by Francis J. Bedard, the board chair.

“Dr. Weiner’s varied and extensive professional and educational experience makes him uniquely qualified to chart the course for Assumption into the future,” Bedard said. “He has done an outstanding job leading the university as interim president furthering our mission and making strategic decisions in the best interest of Assumption and its community at large.”




Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.