April 24, 2014 — Jesuit Father Paul J. Fitzgerald, who has dedicated his career to Jesuit higher education, has been named the next president of the University of San Francisco. Fr. Fitzgerald will take office Aug. 1, succeeding Jesuit Father Stephen A. Privett, who has served as president since 2000.
Fr. Fitzgerald is currently the senior vice president for academic affairs at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Previously, he worked at Santa Clara University in California as associate dean and senior associate dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.
The appointment will be a homecoming for Fr. Fitzgerald, who grew up in Los Gatos, Calif. As a teenager, he visited the USF campus many times on road trips from Los Gatos to the city. In 1992 he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Ignatius Church, located on USF’s campus.
“When I received word I was selected as president, I was absolutely elated,” he said. “For a long time, I've had my eye on USF, as a school I really like and respect.”
Fr. Fitzgerald said his presidency will be characterized by listening and learning. He plans to hold a number of meetings to learn about the hopes and expectations of USF's students, faculty and staff.
Fr. Fitzgerald entered the Society of Jesus in 1982, two years after graduating from Santa Clara University with a bachelor’s degree in history. He has lived, taught and studied overseas, helping him develop a global perspective. He earned a D.E.A. (diplôme des études approfondies) and a Docteur ès Lettres (Ph.D.) in the sociology of religion at the University of Paris-La Sorbonne and an S.T.D. (Pontifical Doctorate) in ecclesiology from the Institut Catholique de Paris. He taught as a visiting lecturer in China during the summer of 1992 and in Kenya in 2004. He has also served on the boards of trustees at Loyola University Chicago and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. [Source: University of San Francisco]