Saint Leo University announced a new president on its website this week, saying Edward Dadez, formerly the school’s provost, had been selected by the board of trustees to succeed Jeffrey Senese.
The statement said Senese had resigned and that Dadez had become president on July 1. The university did not previously announce Senese’s departure.
A spokesperson for the Pasco County university said she had no additional information to share.
The website stated Dadez previously was a vice president overseeing the university’s regional education centers, online learning program, student affairs and campus operations. It said he previously held administrative positions at Ohio State University, the University of Dayton, Michigan State University, Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and Chowan University in North Carolina.
“Saint Leo University’s commitment to its core values, Catholic heritage, and close-knit community make it a special place — countless students have thrived here and gone on to make an impact in our world,” Dadez said in the announcement. “I am excited to work alongside students, faculty, staff, and alumni to strengthen the university experience and to help make it possible for more students to pursue their educational and professional goals.”
Senese was elected Saint Leo’s president in 2018 after previously serving as acting president and provost. In July 2021, the school announced a deal to merge with Marymount California University, a development that earned Senese a spot among the Power 100, a list of influential leaders chosen by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Following a year in which 17 of Saint Leo’s 30 campuses shuttered, the school had hoped to extend its brand west by taking ownership of an estimated $60 million in property at the California school and assuming its debt of $3.7 million.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which accredits Saint Leo, did not approve the plan, citing financial concerns, and the merger was called off.