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CSB and SJU tap Kara Kolomitz to be inaugural COO for both schools

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University on Monday announced the hiring of Kara Kolomitz as the schools’ inaugural joint chief operating officer.

Kolomitz, who begins her new duties Feb. 6, has worked in Catholic higher education for more than 25 years, including as COO from 2016-22 at Regis College, a liberal arts institution in suburban Boston. She led all internal operations, units and staff at the school, which serves approximately 3,400 students, and was responsible for institutional, organizational and operational strategy, risk management, and financial aid budget and modeling.

“Dr. Kolomitz brings a deep passion for our mission,” said Brian Bruess, who last summer became the inaugural president of both CSB and SJU. “The search committee was impressed with her leadership qualities, her deep understanding of the challenges facing higher education and her proven ability to lead change.”

Kolomitz started at Regis College in 2001 as director of community and residential life and rose to become dean of students and vice president of student affairs and enrollment. In the latter role she was credited with increasing enrollment and assisting in implementation of a plan to address systemic racism that was recognized with Higher Education Excellence in Diversity awards. She helped increase athletic participation from 65% to 90% of roster capacity and, under her direction, the school improved first-year retention and graduation rates by developing an early-warning tracking system to assess student progress and identify barriers and interventions. That infrastructure helped support students eligible for federal Pell grants to where they graduated from Regis College at a higher rate than those in four-year public institutions.

Kolomitz, who earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Johnson & Wales University in 2016, completed a master’s degree in higher education at Providence College in 1997. She served at Providence in residential life and student affairs positions for eight years after her 1993 graduation from Regis University in Denver with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and philosophy.

Kara Kolomitz

Kara Kolomitz becomes the inaugural combined chief operating officer for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. She begins her new role on Feb. 6.