The Saint Leo University website still lists Jeffrey D. Senese as its president and refers to him as a "brave leader." But when the long holiday began last Friday, he published in silence a press release that announced the immediate departure of Senese and presented his replacement.

The press release presenting Edward Dadez as the 11th President of Saint Leo says nothing about the Senés other than he had resigned. University officials declined to comment beyond the statement, and Senese, the president of Saint Leo since 2018, said through the electronic communication that he could not comment.

but the rapid and sudden rotation at the top follows other recent turbulence in the University, including a failed merger with the University of Marymount California, the May departure of the University Director of the University and a Dramatic decrease in registration in recent years.

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Saint Leo is a small Roman Catholic University in Saint Leo, Florida. He put online more than 20 years ago, to try to maintain his leading role to educate military service in remote learning centers. In 1997, he came to what was then an unusual agreement with Bisk Education, an early player in what is now known as the online programs management market. Later he brought all instructional design, marketing, recruitment and other services internally, an early institution to do so.

Like many early pioneers in online education, see the struggles of places such as Marylhurst University now closed: Saint Leo has had problems to maintain their inscriptions as larger public universities and better brand that expanded their Online efforts and the main national actors such as the University of Southern New Hampshire and the University of Western Governors became magnets for adult students.

The number of students totally online in Saint Leo fell from more than 15,000 in 2015 to approximately 7,000 in 2018 and 6,350 in 2020, according to the latest available figures of the Integrated Postsecundaria Education Data System Education. The general registration of the University's head account fell from 27,289 in 2015 to 22,018 in 2018 and 18,191 in 2020, while its full -time equivalent registration fell from almost 15,000 in 2015 to 10,000 in 2020.

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under Senese, who was hired as rector in 2017 and promoted the president the following year, the University made several ambitious efforts to expand its operations. In 2019, he reached an agreement with the University of Notre Dame de Namur, another Catholic University, to help him market and manage his M.P.A. Program. (Notre Dame de Namur has had financial problems and in 2021 it became a mainly graduated and undergraduate completion institution). (Note: This article has been updated from an earlier version to correct the facts on this relationship).

A year ago, Saint Leo announced plans to merge with the University of Marymount California, another financially ill Catholic institution. But the South Association Commission of South Colleges and Schools blocked the merger in December, which led the parties to leave the agreement and Marymount California to close.

also, in May, John Nisbet, Saint Leo's main financial officer, who joined the University in 2018 and whose responsibilities included the creation of a five -year plan, left, also with little comments from the university. Nisbet's LinkedIn profile identifies it today as a consultant and owner of a business.

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