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Woodbury University names new president

Woodbury University names new president
Luis Calingo became the 13th President of Woodbury University this week, succeeding the retiring Kenneth R. Nielsen, Ed.D. He will be officially installed as the president of the 128-year-old university during an inauguration ceremony in October.
(Courtesy of Woodbury University)

Woodbury University this week announced that a veteran college administrator with a background in international business will become its 13th president.

Luis Calingo, who will be officially installed during an inauguration ceremony in October, hails from Dominican University of California in San Rafael — a four-year, private Catholic college where he served as executive vice president and chief academic officer.

He replaces Kenneth Nielsen, who is retiring after 16 years at the helm of the 128-year-old Burbank campus.

“Woodbury University is a place that believes the best way to predict your future is to create it,” Calingo said in a statement. “I am honored to lead Woodbury and to work with students, faculty, staff and the community to honor this institution’s rich tradition of transforming lives through education, while embracing the many opportunities of tomorrow.”


Calingo previously served as dean of the Boler School of Business at John Carroll University in Cleveland, and before that held various leadership posts in the Cal State system, where he was chairman of the association of deans in charge of spearheading academic leadership initiatives for the system’s 23 business schools.

According to a biography released by Woodbury, the new president earned his MBA and doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, and master’s degrees in urban and regional planning and industrial engineering from the University of the Philippines.

Calingo could not be reached for comment.

Calingo is an international expert in strategic planning and quality management, and has consulted with the governments of Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam to improve education and economic systems.


Founded in 1884 by entrepreneur F.C. Woodbury, the university is best known for its business, architecture and design programs.

In a separate announcement posted on the university’s website, Board of Trustees Chairman Robert W. Kummer Jr. said Calingo would “build on the strong foundation and remarkable achievements” made under the “outstanding leadership and vision” of Nielsen.