University of Notre Dame names new president to replace Rev. John Jenkins

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame Chair of Board Trustees has named Rev. Robert A. Dowd, C.S.C., as the university’s 18th president. He will replace Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., who is stepping down at the end of this academic year.

Father Dowd will take over the role on July 1, 2024.

“I am deeply humbled and honored by the Board’s decision,” Father Dowd said. “We can all be grateful for Father Jenkins’ selfless and courageous leadership for almost two decades. Working together with others, his efforts have positioned the University extremely well in every way. We will build on those efforts. Informed by our Catholic mission, we will work together so that Notre Dame is an ever-greater engine of insight, innovation and impact, addressing society’s greatest challenges and helping young people to realize their potential for good.”

Father Dowd currently serves as vice president and associate provost for interdisciplinary initiatives at the university. He's also an associate professor of political science and a Fellow and Trustee of the University and religious superior of the Holy Cross community at Notre Dame. 

A Michigan City native, Father Dowd graduated from Notre Dame in 1987. That same year, he entered Moreau Seminary, and was ordained a priest in 1994. 

“I thank and congratulate our Board of Trustees on selecting Father Dowd as Notre Dame’s next president,” Father Jenkins said. “An accomplished scholar, a dedicated teacher and an experienced administrator, Father Bob is also a faithful and generous priest. He will lead the University to being even more powerfully a force for good in the world.”

“We are thrilled that Father Dowd will be Notre Dame’s next leader,” said Jack Brennan, chair of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees. “His character and intellect, along with his broad academic and administrative experience and his deep commitment to Notre Dame, make him an ideal person to lead the University into the future. Since its founding, Notre Dame has been led by a priest-president from the Congregation of Holy Cross, the religious order to which Father Sorin, the University’s founder, belonged. The University has had only three presidents in the last 70 years, each exceptional in their own right — Father Jenkins, Father Edward Malloy, C.S.C., and Father Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. Father Dowd continues in this rich tradition.”

Click here to read more. 

And watch the announcement video from Father Dowd, Father Jenkins and Notre Dame Board of Trustees Chairman Jack Brennan. 


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