The Catholic University of America

Feb. 1, 2007

CUA President Appoints New Provost

Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, has announced the appointment of Dr. James Brennan, provost of Towson University in Maryland, as the next provost and chief academic officer of The Catholic University of America, effective June 18, 2007.

Father O'Connell, right, announces the appointment of James Brennan as the university's new provost.
Brennan has served as Towson's provost for the last three years. His service there marked his latest appointment in an academic and administrative career that has spanned more than 35 years. Prior to Towson, Brennan was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville, dean of the Graduate School at Loyola University in Chicago, and professor and chair of psychology at the University of Massachusetts. He also taught psychology at the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Buffalo and Kent State University in Ohio earlier in his career.

Commenting on the appointment of Brennan, Father O'Connell said: "The administrative responsibilities of the provost are among the most important at the university. I find Dr. Brennan an extremely qualified and competent academic administrator, rich in the kind of experience necessary to inspire and motivate the deans and faculties of the university to move CUA forward. He is certainly conversant with the special obligations and mission of a Catholic university and has demonstrated great eagerness to be part of a Catholic academic environment at the highest levels. He communicates a clear vision and characteristics of strong academic leadership. I am delighted that he has accepted my offer to serve as provost of The Catholic University of America."

Catholic University's provost supervises 12 academic deans and approximately 690 full-time and part-time faculty. With the president, the provost administers an academic budget of $75 million.

Responding to his appointment, Brennan remarked: "I feel privileged to join The Catholic University of America at this juncture in its history as a student-centered learning community, which values cutting-edge research and scholarship at the faculty, graduate, professional and undergraduate levels. As the Church's university, CUA provides a unique voice in the landscape of higher education. It is exciting for me to join a superlative group of institutional leaders and an incredibly accomplished faculty in the work of moving the university to even greater excellence."

Brennan's appointment is the culmination of a search process that began early last summer and continued through the fall. More than 35 nominations and applications were considered in a process that ultimately provided three finalists broad exposure to the university community. "CUA was fortunate to welcome three excellent candidates to campus," observed Father O'Connell. "Dr. Brennan received the widest consensus of support and the most enthusiastic response from those who had the opportunity to meet with him during his campus visit."

Father O'Connell also praised Brennan's immediate predecessor, Dr. John Convey, for his decade of administrative service. "There are few educators in my experience who possess the talents, gifts and wisdom demonstrated and shared by Dr. Convey over these 10 years. He has been by my side in leadership throughout my tenure here. Every president should be as fortunate."

Convey reflected that "it has been an honor and a privilege to serve The Catholic University of America as its provost for the past 10 years. I am pleased that the next provost is an experienced administrator who has a good understanding of the mission of the university. I pledge to work with Dr. Brennan to ensure a smooth transition as he assumes this important administrative post."

Brennan will arrive on campus May 1 to begin the transition process. In mid-June Convey will return to full-time faculty service in CUA's Department of Education.

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The Catholic University of America, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., is unique as the national university of the Catholic Church in America. Founded in 1887 and chartered by Congress, the university opened as a graduate research institution. Undergraduate programs were introduced in 1904. Today the private and coeducational institution educates more than 6,100 graduate, professional and undergraduate students from all states and 90 countries enrolled in 12 schools of architecture and planning, arts and sciences, canon law, engineering, law, library and information science, music, nursing, philosophy, social service, theology and religious studies and Metropolitan College.


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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,