Knothe Hired as SVPAA & Dean of the College

Friday, February 19, 2021

Carroll College Hires Thomas Knothe as Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

HELENA - Carroll College is pleased to announce that it has hired Thomas Knothe, J.D., as Carroll’s new Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, effective July 1, 2021.

“We are fortunate to have found an individual with Tom Knothe’s professional qualifications coupled with a strong commitment to a respectful and collaborative leadership style,” said Carroll College President Dr. John Cech. “Tom’s desire to serve a college that is Catholic, mission-driven, and committed to the ideals of a liberal education makes him a perfect match to lead the academic arm of our institution as we address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

Knothe is an associate professor of business and served 12 years as Dean of the College of Business, Performing Arts, and Leadership at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He received a Juris Doctor from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Viterbo College.

'It is a blessing and a joy to be joining the Carroll College community at this exciting time in its proud history,” said Knothe. “I greatly appreciate Carroll’s mission, values, vision, and commitment to academic excellence within a transformative student experience. I look forward to working collegially with all members of the community to assist in the realization of our academic and institutional goals."

While Knothe began his professional career in the legal field, involvement on the alumni association board as well as teaching courses as an adjunct professor led to a commitment to serve and lead in Catholic higher education. Following 15 years in the law profession, he has since spent the entirety of his higher education career at Viterbo University in a variety of capacities. For the past twelve years, he was the Dean of the College of Business, Performing Arts, and Leadership which included the Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and the Center for Professional Learning and Development. In 2017, he served in an interim capacity leading the Office of Academic Affairs during a leadership transition. In this role, he had four academic deans on his leadership team, and oversaw 127 full-time faculty and a large multimillion-dollar academic affairs budget. In addition to continuing to teach in the classroom, Knothe has led many academic initiatives at the university as well as strategic planning endeavors.

Knothe’s experience developing a number of diverse new programs with various delivery modalities for undergraduate, adult learning, graduate, and online make him especially well suited to leading Carroll’s efforts to expand its curricular offerings, particularly as the college continues to look to build its graduate-level programs. He has also demonstrated success at growing a portfolio of academic programs to meet the needs of regional employers while at the same time increasing university enrollment. In addition, Knothe has an extensive background in developing organizational structures which prioritize creating a positive, supportive culture based on shared values and traditions.

“I am impressed by Tom’s commitment to a servant leadership style which is collaborative, transparent and inclusive. He has a proven track record of building strong, trusting relationships with faculty and his belief that ‘mutual trust and a shared vision are what motivate people to do great things,’ will continue to guide our academic initiatives and college community in a positive direction,” said Cech.

Knothe will be filling the position currently held by Vice President of Academic Affairs Cathy Day. Prior to serving as VPAA since June of 2018, Day was the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for four years and Registrar for six years prior to that. She also served as interim VPAA for a year in 2014-15. Day will be retiring June 30, 2021. Knothe’s official start date is July 1, 2021.