College of Arts and Sciences

Our Next Chapter


On Monday our president-elect, Dr. Colleen Hanycz, introduced herself to the campus.
I was impressed.
Yes, yes: I’m still an academic. No stars in these eyes.
So I never hoped that our next president would be a superhero or a saint—someone wielding all the answers to whatever challenges we may face ahead.  
I do not subscribe to the heroic theory of university leadership.
I do, however, believe we need an extraordinary and capable university president, a person of high character who will magnify our community’s strengths as we chart our common path ahead.
Monday I saw good signs that we’ve found a great leader in Dr. Hanycz.
Experienced confidence.
A prayer of clear-eyed resilience.
Self-deprecating humor.
Authentic dedication to Xavier’s Jesuit, Catholic mission.
Budding affection for our local culture.
A commitment to read and to listen in the months ahead.
And above all, the promise – after reading and listening –
to write Xavier’s next chapter together with us.
Listening to Dr. Hanycz, it also dawned on me: it feels really good to look ahead to our next chapter.
Since shortly after Fr. Graham’s retirement announcement last March, we’ve had to pour our energies into madly scribbling the final pages of our current chapter. The pandemic has dominated these pages, demanding all our efforts and creativity.  
Now it’s time to imagine our next chapter.

I’m excited to welcome Dr. Hanycz, and for what we will write together with her in the pages to come.

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