PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Key leaders at St. Joseph’s University are meeting Monday to figure out how to pick the University’s next president because of Father Joseph O’Keefe’s medical issues.

Word came unexpectedly that he was deemed unable to assume the university’s presidency. The search begins anew after a routine pre-employement physical revealed ‘cardiovascular issues.’

Father O’Keefe was all set to succeed the Reverend Timothy Lannon, who still plans to return to his alma mater, and become president of Creighton University in Omaha.

Father O’Keefe, who is dean of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, was selected by the St. Joseph’s search committee earlier this year. He was described as a nationally and internationally renowned educator with particular expertise in urban Catholic schools.

At the time, O’Keefe told us he already had contact with this area, accepting Cardinal Rigali’s invitation to be on a blue-ribbon panel to rejuvenate the Archdiocese’s educational mission.

He’s going to take a sabbatical from BC to attend to his health.

The executive committee of St. Joseph’s Board of Trustees will now decide whether they’ll consider other finalists, return to square one and begin a new search, or pick an interim president.

Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio

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