Meet the President


Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D Biography

Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. is the fourth female and the first lay woman to hold the office of president at Newman University.  She began her tenure as president in July 2007.

Carrocci came to Newman from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., where she served as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.  Carrocci joined Spring Hill College in 1998 as vice president for Academic Affairs and professor of communication arts.  She was appointed provost in April 2005.

She was dean of the Undergraduate College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and professor of communication from 1994 to 1998 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

From 1979 to 1994, Carrocci taught at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., where she advanced from assistant professor to professor of communication.  She also served in administrative positions of increasing responsibility.  She was director of the Graduate Program in Communications and assistant director of Pre-professional Health Studies in the early to late 1980s, and chairperson for the Department of Communication from 1988 to 1991.  She was associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1992 to 1994. 

Among her many honors, Carrocci was a Fellow of the American Council on Education in 1991-92, and served her fellowship year at Tulane University.  Carrocci has compiled an impressive list of published articles, presentations and awards over her career.

Since arriving at Newman, Carrocci has overseen or initiated several developments.  On the same day as her inauguration, Nov. 9, 2007, she presided over the dedication of the Dugan Library and Campus Center, a $14.25 million, 56,000 square-foot complex that has become the academic, social and cultural hub of the university.  She also oversaw the completion and dedication of two new residence halls, and a pedestrian mall and plaza honoring Newman’s founders and sponsoring order, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ.  Carrocci also led an effort that included the entire university community in creating a Vision Statement and comprehensive five-year Strategic Plan (2009-10 to 2013-14), and a new Campus Master Plan (2010).

Carrocci has served on ACE’s Council of Fellows and Commission on Effective Leadership.  She is active in the Wichita community serving on Boards for Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Via Christi Hospitals-Wichita, Wichita Grand Opera, and the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita.

Carrocci was raised in Steubenville, Ohio.  She received her undergraduate degree in communication and psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  She then earned a Master of Arts and a doctoral degree in speech communication and human relations from the University of Kansas.  Carrocci is married to Robert John (Bob) Benson, a principal with The Beta Group, a consulting firm specializing in strategic financial management of information technology.

Community Involvement

  • Chair, Board of Trustees, Via Christi Hospitals – Wichita, Inc.
  • Downtown Rotary Club
    • Member, Wichita Rotary Charitable Fund Board of Directors 2013-2016
  • Member, Board of Directors, Wichita Chamber of Commerce (ex-officio)
  • Member (Noreen Carrocci/Bob Benson), Legatus
  • Member, Executive Committee, Kansas Independent College Association
  • Member, Wichita Community Foundation
    • Member, Fund Development Committee
  • Member, 4-Wichita KU School of Medicine – Wichita Advancement Board
    • Member, Community Affairs Committee
  • Member, Board of Directors, Wichita Grand Opera
    • Member, Executive Committee