Rick Trietley Named the 10th President of Viterbo University

Thursday, February 10, 2022
Viterbo President Rick Trietley

Feb. 10, 2022

Contact Anthony Slaby at 608-796-3042 or aaslaby@viterbo.edu


LA CROSSE, Wis. – Richard “Rick” Trietley has been named the 10th president of Viterbo University. Trietley has served as the interim president of Viterbo since June 25, 2021.

“It is truly an honor and privilege to be the president of Viterbo University,” said Trietley. “The opportunity to lead the university into the next phase of its proud history is both exciting and humbling for my wife, Michele, and me. Through a steadfast focus on ethical leadership, faithful service, and our time-tested core values, Viterbo will continue the legacy of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who came before us and set such an inspiring example. I am confident that our students and employees will embrace the possibilities and challenges awaiting us as we join the thousands of alumni in making a positive impact on a world that so desperately needs our gifts, talents, and passions. I wish to thank the Board of Trustees and Viterbo Ministries for their faith and trust in selecting me for this prestigious position.”

Trietley began at Viterbo in 2017 as the vice president for student affairs. He went on to serve as interim provost and executive vice president for student success before assuming the interim president position. He was the vice president for student affairs at St. Bonaventure University in New York for nine years before arriving at Viterbo.

Prior to his career in higher education, Trietley served 22 years in the U.S. Army, including a combat deployment to Afghanistan where he served as Brigade Executive Officer of 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division and was second-in-charge of 3,200 soldiers. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service, the Air Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. In his final assignment in the military, Trietley served as the Professor of Military Science for the St. Bonaventure University Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Trietley earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from St. Bonaventure University, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Maryville University in St. Louis, from which he is scheduled to graduate with a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership in April. 

Originally from Olean, N.Y., Trietley and his wife Michele have two adult sons, Richard III and Kyle.

The members of the Board of Trustees and the Viterbo Ministries sponsoring entity were unanimous in their selection of Trietley to lead Viterbo University.

“Viterbo has been very fortunate to have Rick Trietley serve as interim president the last seven months,” said John McHugh, chair of the Board of Trustees. “He is a servant leader, well versed in Catholic and Franciscan values, and has provided strong and stable direction for the university. After determining the required critical characteristics of the next president and interviewing Rick, the Board of Trustees and Viterbo Ministries are very pleased to name him as Viterbo’s president.”

Trietley has supported and led a wide range of initiatives at Viterbo. He has helped lead the establishment of five new academic programs, implemented the new international and intercultural department, and oversaw a 19% increase in student-athlete recruitment from 2018 to 2020. He also guided the creation of the Military Aligned Students Program and served as co-leader of the COVID-19 response team that coordinated the university’s planning, preparation, and response to maintain operations and implement safety measures in 2020. As interim president, Trietley led the search for the university’s first vice president for diversity, equity, and inclusion and was instrumental in the creation and associated fundraising to name the Sr. Thea Bowman Center on campus.

“Viterbo Ministries is pleased to appoint Richard Trietley as president of Viterbo University,” said Margaret Grenisen, MD, chair of Viterbo Ministries. “He is a student-centered leader who is a strong advocate for the Catholic, Franciscan mission of Viterbo.”


Further information can be found at https://www.viterbo.edu/presidential-announcement.

About Viterbo: Located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, Viterbo University is a Catholic, Franciscan university in the liberal arts tradition. Founded in 1890 by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Viterbo offers more than 40 academic programs, and has more than 2,500 students and 24,000 alumni. Viterbo prepares students for faithful service and ethical leadership. Learn more at https://www.viterbo.edu.