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David Tyson named provincial superior

Sheila Flynn | Monday, September 15, 2003

University trustee and former Notre Dame Vice President Father David Tyson has returned to Notre Dame as provincial superior of the Indiana Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Tyson was elected to the office in June, succeeding Father William Dorwart, who served as provincial superior since 1997. Tyson did not officially leave his post as president of the University of Portland, which is also a Holy Cross school, until Aug. 1. He arrived permanently in South Bend on Aug. 18.

“Even though I have been in Holy Cross many years now, I am enjoying engaging our membership through my new role,” Tyson said in an e-mail interview. “Though there are challenges, this is an exciting time in the Church and in Holy Cross.”

As provincial superior, Tyson is responsible for the spiritual and physical welfare of every member of the order. Each year, either the provincial superior or his delegate visits each member, as near as South Bend and as far as Chile, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

“The provincial superior works with the other provincials worldwide and the general administration of the order to coordinate our many ministries,” Tyson said.

The role also gives Tyson increased power in the appointment of upper-echelon University officials. As a trustee, he was already involved in the process; the board of trustees elects the Notre Dame president. However, the board’s governance and nominating committee is also required to request a recommendation for the next University president from the provincial of the Indiana province. At this point in the University’s history, when the office of executive vice president is still empty and University President Father Edward Malloy’s tenure expires in 2005, Tyson’s office is particularly important.

Tyson said he expects the subject of a new executive vice president to be addressed shortly by the board, which meets on campus in October.

“The Chair of the Board created an Ad Hoc Committee on Organization that is preparing a report for the full Board on structural issues in the University administration,” Tyson said. “It is my understanding that the position of executive vice president will be included in the report.”

Tyson himself was one of the top candidates for the Notre Dame presidency in 1987, when Malloy was selected.

Tyson has been involved with Notre Dame since 1966, when he entered the University as a freshman. He has two Notre Dame degrees: a bachelor’s degree, earned in 1970, and a master’s degree, earned in 1974. After his ordination in 1975, he held various positions at the University, including admissions counselor, assistant rector in Dillon Hall, business professor, executive assistant to the president under Father Theodore Hesburgh and vice president for student affairs. He left Notre Dame after being selected as president of the University of Portland in 1990.