March 14, 2017
By Mary Alice Maloney
After a 26-year career at Dominican, Amy McCormack, senior vice president of finance and administration, is slated to move up the ranks of higher education administration at a new institution. On July 1, 2017, McCormack will begin her official tenure as President of Calumet College of St. Joseph in Hammond, Indiana.
An Indiana native herself, McCormack never had the specific goal to become a university president, although she always felt she would be good at the job if the right opportunity ever arose. McCormack received a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
“I frequently receive emails with job notices and openings for presidencies of different universities, and most of the time I would just hit “delete” because I wasn’t seeking to move or change my job at those moments,” McCormack said.
But the notice for a position at Calumet College of St. Joseph (CCSJ) was different.
“I was drawn to this institution,” McCormack said. “The attractions for me are that CCSJ is a Catholic faith-based institution founded by a male order called the Missionaries of the Presious Blood that is committed to social justice and urban education. The mission of the institution is very similar to Dominican’s of social justice and compassionate service, and the size of the school is about 1,200, which isn’t that much different from when I started at Dominican.”
McCormack’s reasons for connecting with CCSJ don’t end there.
“CCSJ happens to be the only Catholic institution in Northwest Indiana, and it’s the only Hispanic-serving institution recognized by the Department of Education in the state of Indiana,” McCormack said. “CCSJ serves a very diverse student population, so I feel like Dominican has prepared me well to serve this institution.”
Although CCSJ is similar to Dominican in many ways, McCormack never wanted to be at an institution that competes with Dominican. Presidency positions at peer institutions in the Chicagoland area have been presented to her, but McCormack always felt compelled to turn them down.
“I’m an alum of Dominican; I got my MBA from here in 1995,” McCormack said. “I’ve spent so much time here at Dominican and I only want the best for this institution. I want Dominican to be the best small Catholic institution in the Chicagoland area and Illinois, and I want CCSJ to be the best small Catholic institution in Northwest Indiana.”
McCormack is excited and prepared to take the leap to become President of CCSJ.
“I feel like this is a position where my skillset is a good fit, from a leadership perspective, from a strategic and visionary perspective, and from a fundraising perspective that includes the ability to connect with people,” McCormack said.
“But really, it’s more about the institution than about the position itself,” McCormack said. “I want to lead CCSJ to a future that I think is rich with opportunities. This institution serves the local community and educates the local community. The students themselves live and work in this area and become valued members of their community. I think an institution like this is incredibly important and valuable, and I’m honored to become a member of the CCSJ family.