Announcement Regarding Vice President Todd Olson
May 20, 2021
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
It is with deep appreciation and gratitude that I write to announce Todd Olson, Ph.D., our Vice President for Student Affairs, has been selected by Mount Mercy University as its next president, beginning this July.
A member of our community since 2002, Dr. Olson has served in the role of Vice President for Student Affairs for the past 18 years, making invaluable and lasting contributions to the life of our community. Under his leadership, we formed several new offices to expand support for our students—including our LGBTQ Resource Center, our Veteran’s Office, and Student Outreach and Support within the Division of Student Affairs. Most recently, in collaboration with the Provost’s Office, he played a major role in the creation of the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion.
From his work as one of the founders and developers of the Engelhard Project for Connecting Life and Learning to his leadership in the development of our residential and campus spaces—such as the Healey Family Student Center, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to the formation of our students and to sustaining a residential living and learning community where all of our students could thrive.
Dr. Olson led the creation of Georgetown’s Bias Reporting System, our intergroup dialogue program, A Different Dialogue, and the Cornerstone Initiative, a mentorship program that connects new students more fully with life at Georgetown.
He has been deeply immersed in our Catholic and Jesuit mission—serving as the chair of our self-study committee in 2017 as part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities Mission Priority Examen, and, on a national level, serving as the president of the Jesuit student affairs organization, known as JASPA (Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators), from 2018 to 2020.
He has continued to teach courses on organizational theory in the Higher Education Administration program at our School of Continuing Studies and Group Dynamics in Health Promotion in our School of Nursing and Health Studies.
He has brought together an extraordinary team in our Division of Student Affairs, who impact the lives of our students every day, as we advance our mission as a student-centered research university.
The challenges facing higher education have never been more difficult, as our nation’s colleges and universities work to respond to issues of inclusion, belonging, and well-being. We could not have asked for a better leader supporting student life than Dr. Olson and it is with immense gratitude that we see him take on this new role.
Jeanne Lord, JD, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, will serve as interim Vice President for Student Affairs while we conduct a national search.
On behalf of our entire community, I offer my very best wishes to Dr. Olson as he prepares to take on this new leadership role within higher education.
Please join me in sharing our appreciation and congratulations with Dr. Olson.
John J. DeGioia