O’Donnell to retire as Provost; assume professorship in Classics Department

Executive Vice-President and Provost James J. O’Donnell will conclude his ten-year term as a member of Georgetown’s administration at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, according to announcement from University President John DeGioia.

“I am truly grateful for all that Jim has done to expand and enhance Georgetown’s standing as a leading research University,” wrote DeGioia in an email to the student body. As Provost, O’Donnell oversees Georgetown’s various academic offices and often serves as a face of the university in the absence of President DeGioia.

O’Donnell earned his bachelor’s Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton in 1972 and received his doctorate from Yale in 1975. O’Donnell’s biography notes that he has previously served on the faculties of Catholic, Cornell, and Bryn Mawr College. Prior to his appointment at Georgetown, O’Donnell served on the University of Pennsylvania’s faculty for 21 years as a professor in the classics department and as a Vice-Provost and Faculty Master.

During his tenure as Provost, O’Donnell has spearheaded a number of the University’s academic and international initiatives, including the SFS-Qatar Campus and the development of Georgetown’s new science center, to be completed in 2012. The announcement also notes O’Donnell’s involvement in the expansions of Georgetown’s masters’ and continuing studies programs, as well as his leadership role in the University’s Diversity and Inclusiveness Initiative.

According to DeGioia, “after a well-deserved sabbatical, [Provost O'Donnell] will assume a full-time faculty role as a Professor in the Classics Department.” DeGioia also writes that he intends to organize a search for O’Donnell’s successor within the coming weeks.

14 Comments on “O’Donnell to retire as Provost; assume professorship in Classics Department

  1. This isn’t a “retirement.” Time for some real journalism, folks. . .

  2. Where will he put the giant donkey that currently sits in his office?

    This is like George W. Bush leaving office. Probably for the best in terms of policy, but where will we find such fodder for jokes?

  3. @typical

    That’s giving J’OD a bad rap. Dude had his fingers in about every policy and initiative Georgetown pushed over the last decade. His quirks didn’t detract from his competency.

  4. Another retirement party/going-away party/birthday party/staff meeting/conversation about lunch orders I won’t get invited to.

  5. @hoya – He’s stepping down from his role as Provost, so yes, he’s retiring as Provost. That’s what the word means.

    I hope the donkey shows up in his classroom.

  6. @Alison–“Retiring” implies that this was his choice. It wasn’t.

  7. Class of 2011 won this thread.

    hoya, you want to expand on those thoughts?

  8. O’Donnell’s contract is up at the end of the upcoming academic year. He wanted another five year contract. DiGioia said no. If the Voice editors are smart, they’ll tell their best reporter to track down the rest of the story. . .

  9. @CH

    Just because JOD had a hand in many decisions doesn’t make those decisions the best ones.

    Have you read “A Call to Action?”

  10. the voice should listen to hoya and be a little more dutiful in its reporting. ‘retire’ implies choice. JOD is stepping down, but not voluntarily. the man was canned.

  11. Pingback: Vox Populi » Town hall sheds some light on the ongoing search for a new provost

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>