Former Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls joins Xavier as Special Assistant to the Provost

Qualls' appointment expands Xavier's commitment to urban sustainability and regional engagement | August 7, 2014

Former Cincinnati Mayor and Councilmember Roxanne Qualls has been appointed as Xavier’s Special Assistant to the Provost for Urban and Regional Engagement. She will work with students and faculty in the University’s urban sustainability and political studies academic programs.

In addition to her academic focus, Qualls will serve as a liaison to external communities on behalf of Xavier, making Xavier a center for study, discussion and engagement of urban and regional issues. She will also direct an effort towards the creation of an urban institute at Xavier with an emphasis on thought and action aimed at providing solutions to critical issues in urban and regional communities.

Qualls reports directly to Provost and Chief Academic Officer Scott Chadwick.

“Xavier’s mission has always included a strong commitment to community engagement, specifically in the urban core,” said Chadwick. “Roxanne will be a tremendous resource to our academic programs and political outreach that focus on government and politics, sustainability and resilience. She will act as a bridge builder to the community, helping to insure that our programs emphasize theory, practice and participation in a rapidly changing global society.”

Qualls’ appointment comes as Xavier is accepting applications for two new masters’ programs that focus on urban innovation:

  • The Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability and Resilience, led by Liz Blume, director of the Community Building Institute at Xavier and former planning director for the City of Cincinnati, together with John Fairfield, professor of history and expert in urban studies.
  • The Master of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and the Public (PPP), an extension of the unique, undergraduate PPP Honors Program. PPP just celebrated its 10th anniversary and has placed graduates in political and public service jobs nationwide. The PPP program is led by founding director and Professor of Philosophy E. Paul Colella and Assistant PPP Director Gene Beaupre, who is also director for government relations at Xavier.

“I look forward to working with Xavier’s tremendous academic and community engagement teams and contributing to the new and existing programs that set Xavier apart as an educational leader in the areas of urban innovation and urban growth,” Qualls said.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share my practical experience in politics, public policy, public administration and the non-profit worlds with students and faculty at Xavier.”

Qualls served as mayor of the City of Cincinnati from 1993-1999 and as a member of City Council from 1991-1999 and from 2007-2013. Her public service focus has included building great neighborhoods, improving transportation and finding solutions to homelessness.

After leaving office in 1999 because of term limits, Qualls went to Harvard University where she was a fellow in the Institute of Politics, a Loeb Fellow in the Graduate School of Design, and a Malcolm Weiner Fellow in Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government. In 2002, she earned a master’s degree in public administration. She returned to Cincinnati in 2004 and taught in the Master’s of Public Administration program at Northern Kentucky University and served as Director of Public Leadership Initiatives until December 2007.

Prior to serving in elected office, Qualls was the director of the Cincinnati office of Ohio Citizen Action, executive director of Women Helping Women and the director of the Northern Kentucky Rape Crisis Center.

In addition to her role at Xavier, Qualls continues her work as a real estate agent with Sibcy Cline.