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Stephen Standifird Named Bradley University’s 12th President

Dean of Lacy Business School to lead Peoria institution

March 12, 2020
For immediate release:

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Stephen Standifird MBA Ph.D., dean of Butler University’s Andre B. Lacy School of Business, will become Bradley University’s 12th president effective June 15.

Presidential search co-chairs, the Honorable James L. Shadid and Kathi Holst, both members of the class of 1979, announced the news Thursday.

“We set out in this search to find the right person for this time and this moment for Bradley University. In Steve Standifird, we believe we have found that person. We know Steve will highlight and grow Bradley's successes in faculty achievements and our students' accomplishments in academics and athletics as he challenges the entire Bradley family to push the boundaries of what's possible.”

Standifird succeeds Gary R. Roberts, a 1970 Bradley graduate, who steps down May 31. Roberts announced his intent to retire last May.

“I am excited to be part of an organization that has at its core such a rich history of innovation and can-do spirit, a history that comes from the very founder of our university, Lydia Moss Bradley,” Standifird said.

Prior to joining Butler in 2014, Standifird served as dean of the business school at the University of Evansville. He previously held the positions of associate dean of graduate and professional programs and director of undergraduate programs, both at the University of San Diego.

Faculty members Jacqueline Hogan, professor of sociology and anthropology; Tanya Marcum, professor of entrepreneurship, technology, and law; and Laurence Weinzimmer, Caterpillar Professor of Strategic Management, served on the presidential search committee and cited “a very comprehensive process.”

“We believe that Dr. Standifird is the most qualified applicant. His strategic-planning experience, fundraising successes and his ideas for growth at Bradley University are all exceptional,” they said. “We are excited about his leadership on campus, his availability to students and faculty, and his vision for our future.”

Standifird earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University before earning an MBA from Northwestern University, and a doctorate in organization studies from the University of Oregon.

He is married to Vivian Lee Standifird, CFO at Rehab Medical, Inc. The couple has two young daughters, Sorana, 10, and Brianna, 6.

Members of the media will be invited to a press event soon. Learn more about Standifird at

Bradley University is a top-ranked, private university in Peoria, Ill., offering 5,400 undergraduate and graduate students the opportunities, choices and resources of a larger university and the personal attention and exceptional learning experience of a smaller university. Bradley offers a comprehensive array of undergraduate and graduate academic programs in business, communications, education, engineering, fine arts, health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, and technology. The university is located on an 85-acre campus in the largest metropolitan area in central Illinois.