Published: Feb 10, 2011 5:48 PM EST
Updated: Feb 10, 2011 2:51 PM EST

AVA MARIA- The former director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives will be the next president of Ava Maria University.

The board of trustees announced Thursday that Jim Towey, who served under former President George W. Bush, will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the southwest Florida university starting July 1.

Thomas S. Monaghan, who currently serves as the university's chancellor and chief executive officer, will relinquish his CEO responsibilities.

Monaghan says this will give him more time to work with the university's supporters locally and nationally.

Towey was most recently president of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa.

Ava Maria University offers a liberal arts education in the Catholic tradition.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)