Fairfield’s Academic Vice President Named President of USF
The Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., Fairfield University’s Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, has been selected the 28th President of the University of San Francisco (USF). USF officials made the announcement on Tuesday, April 8, following a meeting of the University’s Board of Trustees. The Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., the current USF president and a trustee of Fairfield University, announced his departure in September 2013, having served as President of the Jesuit institution since 2000.
Father Fitzgerald came to Fairfield University in 2009 from Santa Clara University where he served as Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. When appointed to the Fairfield leadership post, he was the only Jesuit chief academic officer in the 28 colleges and universities within the AJCU. In May 2013, he announced his intention to return to the California Province of the Society of Jesus.
While at Fairfield, Father Fitzgerald advanced the University and its schools through numerous initiatives that strengthened the curriculum, played a critical role in the evolution of shared governance, and contributed to enhancing the overall student experience.
Commenting on his years at Fairfield, Father Fitzgerald had this to say: “These past five years have prepared me well for my next assignment. My faculty and staff colleagues have shown me again and again what it is to offer a 21st century Jesuit education, employing a renewed Ignatian pedagogy and effecting a profound intellectual, ethical, and personal transformation of our graduate and undergraduate students over the course of their studies.
“We believe Fr. Fitzgerald is ideally suited to work with the entire USF community in delivering a Jesuit education to the next generations of USF students,” said Thomas E. Malloy, chair of the USF Board of Trustees. “He has a strong commitment to diversity, brings a global perspective, and is an enthusiastic supporter of intercollegiate athletics. He is excited about leading San Francisco’s first university and expanding our partnerships with the community.”
Fairfield President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., said, “During his tenure, Father Fitzgerald has contributed immensely to the advancement of Fairfield University and to the betterment of those it serves. His passionate dedication to our mission, his boundless energy and constant pursuit of excellence has served as a model for us all. He will be greatly missed by the University community and, by me, personally. I have greatly valued our association and friendship. That said, we are delighted at the wonderful opportunity that he has been presented, especially since it is at our sister Jesuit university in San Francisco. We look forward to having the chance to continue to work with him in shared endeavors that forward our institutions in serving the greater good.”
Father Fitzgerald will assume the Presidency at USF on August 1.