Sister Jane Ann Slater, PhD, a member of the Congregation of Divine Providence, has been named interim president of Our Lady of the Lake University effective March 12. She follows Tessa Martinez Pollack, PhD, who stepped down March 1 after serving as president since 2002.
“I am pleased that Sister Jane Ann has accepted the important charge to lead the University during this transitional period,” said Roy Terracina, chairman of the OLLU Board of Trustees. “Her membership in our sponsoring order and long history with the University will allow a seamless transition and make it possible for the University to move forward rapidly with its Strategic Plan and other short- and long-term goals.”
Slater has served the University and the Congregation in a variety of roles throughout her career. She taught as a member of the OLLU chemistry faculty from 1970-1981, was the dean of students in 1974 and was the chairperson of the Academic Affairs Committee in 1972. Most recently, she served on the Board of Trustees from 1987-1993 and again from 2005-2011 while she was Superior General of the Congregation.
She is currently a trustee emeritus on the Board. With her appointment as interim president, Slater will become an ex-officio member of the Board. Slater will be the eighth president in OLLU history and the second member of the Congregation to serve in this capacity.
“Our Lady of the Lake University is a distinctive institution of higher education in San Antonio and South Texas,” said Slater. “The work we do transforms the lives of our undergraduate and graduate students -- many of whom are first-generation college students -- and as alumni they profoundly impact the city, state and nation.”
A native of Texarkana, Ark., Slater joined the Congregation of Divine Providence more than 50 years ago. She earned a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from OLLU. Slater holds the distinction of being the only member of the Congregation of Divine Providence to serve two non-consecutive terms as Superior General of the religious order. She has also served the Congregation as a member of the General Council from 1981-1987.
In addition, Slater spent more than 20 years as a teacher in elementary and secondary schools in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Currently, she is director of studies for Assumption Seminary for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, a position she will be leaving to assume the OLLU presidency. Beginning last January through this February, Slater served as a member of Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller's Envisioning Team, whose goal is to articulate a Vision for the Archdiocese along with Priorities and Goals for the next five years. This process will culminate in the promulgation of the Vision on Pentecost eve at Main Plaza.
“As a member of the Congregation, an alumna and former faculty member of OLLU, and trustee emeritus on the Board, Sister Jane Ann has a unique connection to the University,” said Terracina. “She will provide the perspective and leadership that the University needs in this time as we continue to launch new programs and grow enrollment."
The search process to select a permanent University president will involve the University community and will begin in the next several months.