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Kathleen Jagger

Kathleen Jagger

KATHLEEN SNELL JAGGER, PH.D., M.P.H., is the fifth female and second laywoman to hold the office of president at Newman University in its 90-year history.

While at Newman, Dr. Jagger has helped establish the university’s first doctorate programs, the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice and Doctor of Business Administration. Additionally, nine new academic programs as well as a number of certificate programs and graduate concentrations were added to better meet the needs of the region. Under her leadership, the university has also expanded its mission to meet the education needs of the community by bringing in-person bachelor courses to Southwest Kansas through unique partnerships with regional community colleges. In order to make education at Newman more affordable for Catholic families, two new grants were added: the Catholic Promise and Catholic Leaders of Tomorrow grants.

Under Dr. Jagger’s leadership, Newman was recognized by the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities as one of the first four-year colleges in Kansas to be a Hispanic-serving institution. Newman Athletics also became a full member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) in 2022. Dr. Jagger created a President’s Student Cabinet in an effort to increase student engagement, input, and identify the needs and wants of the campus and its students.

Dr. Jagger came to Newman from Thomas More University in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. Like Newman, Thomas More was founded by religious sisters to train Catholic school teachers and provide college education for women. While at Thomas More, Dr. Jagger served as vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the College for three years before being appointed acting president in July 2018 for 10 months. Dr. Jagger then served as dean of the College of Arts and Science from 2019-2020.

Dr. Jagger has more than 30 years of experience in education as a professor, administrator, and within leadership roles. From 2002-2012, Dr. Jagger served in numerous administrative and leadership roles at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, including interim vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the College. She began her career at Transylvania as a professor of biology. From 1983-2002, Dr. Jagger worked at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. She taught for 19 years and served as a professor of microbiology and public health. Dr. Jagger taught graduate and undergraduate students at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, in its department of microbiology and immunology from 1979-1983.

Dr. Jagger, a seasoned academic and humanitarian, advanced her education at Harvard during a sabbatical and delved into immunology research at the Medical College of Ohio in another. Her leadership at Thomas More birthed the Institute for Ethical Leadership and helped the college transition to a university.

Honored as a distinguished teacher and fellow, she significantly impacted global health through various board memberships and hands-on international service, particularly in community research and aid missions alongside students. Chicago-born with a solid foundation in zoology and microbiology from DePauw and the University of Cincinnati respectively, she also holds a fundraising management certificate.

Married to Dr. Jim Jagger, they share two sons and grandsons, embodying a family rooted in service and academia.

Community and Professional Engagement

  • Wichita Chamber of Commerce, Board Member

  • Tumaini Foundation for Global Health, Board Member

  • American Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities

  • Council of Independent Colleges

  • Kansas Independent Colleges Association, Board of Directors

  • Greater Wichita Partnership

  • 4-Wichita Advancement Board

  • Women of Wichita

  • Wichita Women for Good

  • Legatus

  • St. Catherine of Sienna Parish

President's Office
316-942-4291 ext. 2135
Office: SH226
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