Jenkins re-elected to fourth term as University President
Observer Staff Report | Friday, October 11, 2019
Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees re-elected University President Fr. John Jenkins to a fourth five-year term as the University’s president, the University announced in a Friday news release. The Board made its decision at its fall meeting, which took place on campus. Jenkins was originally elected to the post in 2005.
In the release, board chair John Brennan praised Jenkins’ leadership of the University.
“Like the 16 Holy Cross priests before him, Fr. Jenkins has led the University of Notre Dame with ultimate distinction,” Brennan said. “His insight, wisdom and steady hand have allowed Notre Dame to expand its research portfolio, grow globally and continue to provide an undergraduate education of the first rank, all in concert with our Catholic mission.”
Jenkins expressed gratitude to have received the Board’s support and saluted the Notre Dame community for its efforts to be a positive force in the world.
“I am honored by the confidence the Trustees have shown to me, and I am appreciative of the many ways in which they, my colleagues in administration, the faculty, our staff, our students, my Holy Cross brothers and all who make up the Notre Dame family work in tandem to make this University a force for good,” Jenkins said in the release. “It has been a singular honor to serve as president for the past 15 years. I look forward to our accomplishing still more in the future.”
Some highlights of Jenkins’ tenure include improving the University’s faculty, student and research capabilities. Last year, the school attracted $180 million of outside research money, the release said. Notre Dame has also deepened its ties to South Bend through efforts such as the construction of the Eddy Street Commons, the expansion of the IDEA Center and support for the Robinson Community Learning Center, among others.
Jenkins’s time as president has seen the construction of many new campus buildings, notably the 770,000-square-foot Campus Crossroads Project. The school has also worked to increase its diversity and financial aid resources, the release said.
Jenkins said none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the continued support of the Notre Dame community.
“[It] would not be possible without outstanding students and faculty, the skill and dedication of our executive team, the guidance of our Trustees, along with their generosity and that of alumni and other friends, as well as the careful stewardship of our resources,” he said in the release.
Trained as a philosopher, Jenkins has been a member of Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy since 1990. Before serving as president, he held roles as the University’s vice president and associate provost. He has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2010 and has served on the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates since 2011. He served on the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ board of directors from 2006-2012.
He has received several awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, the American Irish Historical Society’s Gold Medal and the Spirit of Francis National Award. He has honorary degrees from Benedictine College, the University of San Francisco and Aquinas College.