President Jim Collins standing on Keane Hall lawn outside

President Collins to Retire in 2025

After decades of dedicated service to Loras College, President James E. Collins (’84) will step down at the end of the next academic year when his most recent contract is complete, after a twenty-year tenure. He will depart as the longest-serving president in Loras’ 185-year history.

In a message to campus, Collins wrote, “I plan to retire from the Loras presidency on May 31, 2025. My five-year contract comes to an end, and I have decided it is a good time to turn the reins over to someone who is looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to pursue new ideas. At that time, I will have served at Loras for forty-one years, including twenty years as president.”

Collins graduated from Loras in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and has held other positions at the school, including admissions representative and senior vice president. Collins became president in 2004 and was the youngest president in the school’s history.

“Spending forty-five years of my life on this special campus has been a blessing. It is a privilege to have served my alma mater all these years even as it was a surprising, unexpected set of circumstances that led me to serve as a staff member, let alone as its president,” Collins.

During his tenure, Collins oversaw the most successful comprehensive campaign in history, raising $106 million. Estate contributions grew by 1,400 percent and the endowment by 67 percent. Most recently, Collins kicked off a new ENDURING VALUES/VIBRANT VISION $128 million campaign. Several capital improvements have been made to the campus, including the construction of the Lillis Athletic & Wellness Center, the renovation of Rock Bowl Stadium, the renovation of Keane Hall, the addition of Einstein Bagels, the renovation of Beckman Hall, the construction of the Tucker Tennis Complex, and the transition of the Grotto to the center of campus.

Under his leadership, the college also had two successful institutional accreditation reviews in 2010 and 2020, as well as the growth of graduate and professional programs. Loras’ undergraduate experience was also enhanced, with improved retention, graduation, and placement rates. Loras’ academic success is consistently recognized by US News as a top fifteen Midwest baccalaureate institution—most recently ranked tenth. Duhawk athletics became dominant, earning five NCAA team championships and finishing in the top twenty-five among 440 NCAA III institutions in the Learfield All-Sports standings.

Board Chair Rich Scalise (’76) wrote this about his friend: “I have witnessed firsthand Jim’s selfless dedication and the profound impact of his work, which extends far beyond our campus and will continue to reverberate into the future. His visionary leadership can be felt across this institution. He has also prepared Loras for future generations while remaining true to our Catholic university traditions. We all owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

“I have loved my time at Loras,” shares Collins. “Students have buoyed my soul, alumni have energized my work, faculty and staff have renewed my daily commitment, the board has challenged me to be better, and our college has further deepened my Catholic faith. What little I did for Loras, my alma mater, gave back to me ten-fold.”

About Loras College
Established in 1839, Loras College draws on its historic legacy as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River, and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges. Located in Dubuque, Iowa, Loras is a pioneer and leader in Catholic liberal arts education, shaping students to be active learners, reflective thinkers, ethical decision-makers, and responsible contributors. The College offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Press Resources

Loras College has prepared a media kit to accompany this release with campus photos.


Loras College leadership is available for comment.

Demeri Mullikin
Vice President of Marketing & Strategic Communications

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