September 10, 2018

Dear Franciscan University Family:

Ten days ago, I announced Franciscan University’s decision, with the support of the Board of Trustees, to conduct an outside review of records pertaining to past allegations of sexual misconduct. In my announcement, I asked anyone who might be aware of sexual misconduct perpetrated against a member of our community to report the matter so the University would have an opportunity to address it.

In response to this invitation, the University has received a report giving reasonable cause to believe that Father Samuel Tiesi, TOR, made unwelcome sexual advances toward a female student of the University. Father Tiesi worked at the University from 1978 until 1992 and then again from 1997 until his death in 2001. The misconduct is reported to have occurred in the early 1990s.

I would like to once again offer my deepest apology to any person whose experience at our University may have been affected by sexual misconduct. And I specifically apologize to any person who may have been affected by Father Tiesi’s reported actions.

Father Tiesi was a prominent member of our community, and many of our alumni no doubt have positive memories of him. But this report raised grave concerns about Father Tiesi’s conduct and suggests his actions were deeply hurtful to one of our students.

Sexual misconduct has no place on our campus and strikes against the core of the University’s Catholic and Franciscan values. The University is actively reviewing the information it received regarding Father Tiesi and will take steps consistent with our desire to support victims of sexual misconduct and provide a safe learning environment for all students.

I encourage anyone who may have experienced sexual misconduct involving Father Tiesi, or any member of the University, to make a report to the University through the website The University also urges anyone who experienced criminal misconduct to make a report to law enforcement.

While I certainly hope and pray there are no further allegations of sexual misconduct against a member of our University, please know that if there is, further information will be posted at

Please be assured of my prayers for all those who may have been hurt in the past and their families.

In Christ and St. Francis,
Father Sean O. Sheridan, TOR
President, Franciscan University of Steubenville