Leadership Transition in the Office of the Senior Vice President and COO
Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
I write to share important news regarding our University’s senior leadership.
Christopher L. Augostini, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has informed me that he has been appointed Executive Vice President for Business and Administration at Emory University. He will begin this role in July. It is with sincere gratitude to Chris and a deep appreciation for all that he has enabled our community to achieve that I share this with you today.
For seventeen years, Chris has been at the center of our efforts to transform our University—from our finances and endowment to our operations, infrastructure, and our global ambition. Chris first joined our community as Chief Financial Officer at our Law Center in 2000. In 2003, he began his service as the University’s Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer and in 2011, was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
During his time as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, the external economic environment was one of the most challenging in our history. During this period, Chris led our University through its largest physical expansion to-date, with $1.3 billion invested in facilities, including our Law Center campus expansion, our new business school building, new science building, new performing arts center, new intercollegiate athletic center, and several new student housing modernization projects. He also led our efforts during the 2008 financial crisis to reposition our debt portfolio to reduce the amount of volatility and risk in our payment structure. He has helped to ensure our commitment to a world-class faculty, in his efforts to develop long-term faculty salary plans across the University, and to our students, through significant increases to student financial aid. In addition, he has developed competitive staff and AAP compensation packages and professional development and retention programs.
Most recently, as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, he has overseen the financial and operational enterprises of our University, including our Office of Financial Affairs, Internal Audit, Investment Office, Office of Planning and Facilities Management, Department of Human Resources, Office of Faculty and Staff Benefits, University Information Services, Auxiliary Business Services, and Office of Emergency Management.
Under his leadership, we have significantly strengthened the University’s endowment and hired the University’s first Chief Investment Officer. As a result of stronger management, our endowment, which was valued at $610 million in 2003, has risen to over $1.7 billion today while at the same time distributing $750 million to support core university programs. In addition, our bond rating has been upgraded by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, and our overall cash and operating positions have improved significantly.
Chris has also advanced our commitment to a vibrant living and learning community—leading our master planning process and the development of a twenty-year campus plan. He has prioritized the importance of modernizing technology across our University, an ongoing process that includes updating our digital infrastructure and deepening our technology-focused teaching and learning capacities.
He has strengthened our University’s relationships throughout our global community, particularly in China where partnerships with some of the most prominent universities and institutions in the country enable opportunities for Georgetown faculty and students to do their very best work in a global context.
In the time ahead, I will share a plan for interim leadership as we determine Chris’ successor.
We are deeply grateful to Chris for his unparalleled leadership and for the University that he has helped enable us to become. Please join me in congratulating Chris and offering him our profound appreciation for all he has done to enrich and strengthen our University community.
You have my very best wishes.
John J. DeGioia