It’s spring break week on the Hilltop, and the campus is quiet. The weather has been fickle, with some hints of spring followed by a harsh cold reminder that winter has not yet given up its control.
The provost’s office is filled with the kinds of meetings that are difficult to arrange during classes. These are mixes of planning for the rest of the term and assessing progress on various initiatives that are underway. With no students around there seems to be more cognitive space to take a principled, longer-term perspective on our work.
There’s a pretty full plate of work on various initiatives. The Working Group on Racial Justice was updated on progress in faculty searches for the new Department of African American Studies in the College. Things are going well. The Working Group is now digesting input from faculty discussions throughout the university that offered guidance about a new Institute on Racial Justice that Georgetown hopes to build. We’re aiming for a final report at the end of the month.
There are many other faculty searches ongoing in all the schools, with most reaching fruition. We are very excited about the quality of new talent that we are attracting to join the Georgetown community.
The search committee for the College dean completed its work, leading to the announcement that Dr. Christopher Celenza will succeed Dean Gillis when he completes his term in June. Dr. Celenza will come to us from Johns Hopkins University, where he now serves as a vice-provost for faculty affairs, a professor of classics and German and Romance Languages.
We have searches ongoing for the dean of the McDonough School of Business and the Georgetown in Qatar campus. These are progressing well, with very engaged search committees evaluating the candidates.
At the same time the undergraduate admissions office and all the graduate programs are in the final stages of evaluating candidates for their respective programs. This is a step taken with great care and deliberation. Multiple faculty members as well as staff are engaged in identifying the very best students to join the community. We need to be mindful this year, especially for graduate programs, at the possible uncertainties among international students about choosing to come to the US for their higher education. Admissions committees have reached out to assure strong candidates that, when we accept them to come to Georgetown, we will do all in our power to facilitate their coming. As a global university, we need a global mix of students to accomplish our educational goals.
As one can quickly judge, although we are nearing the end of the spring semester and another academic year, much of our work is focused on preparing for next year. The cycle of completion and renewal is constantly in play on the Hilltop, the rhythm of a university is always one of ending and beginning. It’s nice that way.