PHILADELPHIA – St. Joseph’s University announced March 10 that Jesuit Father Joseph O’Keefe, S.J., will be unable to assume the presidency of the university after a routine medical examination revealed some serious medical issues.

St. Joseph’s board of trustees elected Father O’Keefe as St. Joseph’s 27th president earlier this year, on Jan. 24, following a nationwide search. Previously he had served as dean of the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. He was to officially take office at St. Joseph’s May 18.

In a letter to the trustees, Father O’Keefe disclosed that during the physical examination he was required to undergo as part of the hiring process, “to my deep dismay and surprise, the results…revealed some serious cardiovascular issues. In consultation with my physician and with Jesuit Provincial Myles Sheehan, S.J., it was determined that I am not able to assume my new role.”

In a statement to the Boston College community, he wrote, “This is particularly painful because I was so enthusiastic about this position and found such a gracious and warm welcome from the entire St. Joseph’s community.”