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.