The University of St. Joseph has added two new trustees to its board: Dr. John Rodis, president of St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center; and James Wakim, president and chief operating officer for real estate giant Simon Konover Co.
For Wakim, a past trustee of the university, this is his second stint on the board after his initial tenure ended in 2015. Wakim oversees Simon Konover’s commercial, hotel, residential and development operations, and is noted for his background as a real estate lawyer.
Rodis, an expert in maternal-fetal medicine, became the first physician to lead St. Francis when he took over in 2016. He is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at both UConn’s and Quinnipiac University’s schools of medicine, and “his familiarity with higher education and his expertise in … the health care field will contribute positively to the Board of Trustees,” the university said in a statement Tuesday.
Rodis and Wakim join the board at a pivotal moment for St. Joseph, as it shifts to a coed institution after decades as one of the remaining Catholic women-only colleges in New England. The trustees recently voted to admit male undergraduate students in fall 2018.
The university said Rodis and Wakim add to the board’s “legacy of smart growth and financial stewardship.”
St. Joseph was founded in 1932 by the Sisters of Mercy of Connecticut, who sought to establish the first liberal arts college for women in the Hartford area.