The University’s academic future is in the hands of an historian. In March, the University hired history professor Roger Fortin as its new academic vice president. Fortin stepped into the position as acting vice president last May and will lead the University into a new era.
“When you look at Xavier 10 years from now, you’ll see dramatic changes in the way we conduct scholarly activity,” Fortin says. “Those scholarly changes will equate with the change we’ve seen physically over the last 10 years.”
The hiring of Fortin was as difficult as it was easy, says University President Michael J. Graham, S.J. Graham previously worked with Fortin in the history department, and the two worked well together during the past year. The search committee, though, brought in four other highly qualified finalists, which made the decision arduous.
“The committee did a tremendous job of galvanizing a conversation on the future of the University, and in bringing in national-caliber candidates who presented us with some very real choices,” Graham says. What nudged Fortin ahead of the others, though, wasn’t their history, but their chemistry—that one intangible that was known with Fortin but not with the others.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with Roger, dating back to our time together in the history department,” says Graham. “He is a remarkably talented individual, shrewd, insightful, creative and well-spoken, and he will allow us to continue our seamless leadership transition and enhance our remarkable momentum.”