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Kathleen Jagger, Ph.D.


Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information:

Kathleen S. Jagger, Ph.D., is the second laywoman to serve as Newman University president since its founding in 1933.

With extensive higher education and leadership experience, Dr. Jagger is uniquely qualified to lead Wichita’s Catholic university. She recently served as acting president at Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Kentucky, where she also held vice president and dean positions and led the school’s transition from a college to a university. 

During her time at Thomas More, Dr. Jagger created the school’s Institute for Ethical Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies and restructured the Institutional Advancement Office, adding three new positions, and supported the establishment and evolution of the Institute for Religious Liberty, attracting prominent international and national speakers.

In addition, she oversaw the creation of task forces on advising, globalization, retention and diversity, equity and inclusion. A total of 17 new programs were added to the university during her tenure and she supervised the development of the Thomas More Success Center.

Dr. Jagger earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She also has a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She earned a B.A. in Zoology from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she taught for 19 years and served as professor of microbiology and public health from 1996-2002. After her time at DePauw, she became a professor of biology and served in numerous administrative and leadership roles at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky for 13 years.

In addition to being an active volunteer and advocate for Habitat for Humanity, Dr. Jagger has served on the board of or volunteered for more than 20 community organizations. She has been invited to give numerous keynote presentations throughout her career, attended nearly 40 conferences at which she presented abstracts and published works.

She is married to Dr. Jim Jagger, who formally served as director of athletic medicine and team doctor for the University of Kentucky athletics. They have two grown sons, Matthew and Mark.

Community and Professional Engagement

  • American Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • American Society for Microbiology
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • Holy Spirit Parish and Newman Center
  • Lexington Habitat for Humanity
  • Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
  • Northern Kentucky Education Council
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Gravity Diagnostics
  • Tumaini Foundation for Global Health

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