Viterbo University President Rick Artman to Retire Following the 2016-17 Academic Year

Feb. 24, 2016

Contact Rick Artman at 608-796-3001 or Kent Handel at 608-782-1148


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo President Rick Artman has announced he will retire June 30, 2017, after leading the university for more than a decade.

“I will be 68 at retirement and my wife Joan and I are looking forward to spending more time with our family,” said Artman about his decision to retire as planned at the end of his current employment contract. “We are enormously grateful to the Board of Trustees and the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration for inviting us into this wonderful university community and beautiful region. It is a joy to be part of the Viterbo University community where there is a deep and common commitment to our students’ success and to our Franciscan values.”

Artman was named President of Viterbo University in 2006, succeeding Bill Medland. Artman served as president of Siena Heights University in Michigan from 1994–2006. Highlighting Artman’s tenure at Viterbo so far was the development and implementation of the strategic plan University of Opportunity: Hope and Help and the completion of the very successful $42.5 million capital campaign. Some notable achievements of the strategic plan:

  • Construction of the School of Nursing Center, Clare Apartments, the collaboration with the La Crosse Community Theatre to build the Weber Center for the Performing Arts, and the renovations of San Damiano Chapel and Brophy Center, home to the Dahl School of Business
  • Addition of new graduate programs, including the university’s first doctorate program, the Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Enhancement of the university’s national reputation for the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and programs in the performing arts
  • Adoption of a new, missioned-focused core curriculum
  • The number of athletics teams was more than doubled, increasing from 7 to 17
  • Strengthening of the Catholic, Franciscan identity of the university
  • Growth of Viterbo’s endowment from $25 million to $44.5 million
  • Creation of 113 new scholarships for students

“I am blessed to have been called to do my part in advancing the mission and values of Viterbo University,” Artman said. “The advances we have made over the past decade are a tribute to an outstanding team of senior administrators, a very talented and dedicated faculty, administrators and staff who live our core values daily, strong leadership and support from the FSPA, trustees, benefactors, and of course, the amazing students who make me want to come to work every day.”

The Viterbo Board of Trustees is in the early stages of organizing the important task of undertaking a presidential search, which typically encompasses an 18 month process. More details will be forthcoming as the process unfolds.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and myself personally, I want to thank Rick and Joan Artman for their outstanding service to Viterbo University over the past 10 years,” said Kent Handel, chair of the Viterbo Board or Trustees. “Thanks in large part to Rick’s leadership and the many advancements made at the university during his tenure as president, Viterbo is well-positioned for the future. I have no doubt Viterbo will attract a fine leader to succeed President Artman.”