John Kolligian, director of Georgetown’s Counseling and Psychiatric Services, has resigned to take a similar position at Princeton University after only a year at Georgetown.

Susan Gordon has been named interim clinical director until a permanent replacement can be found.

Kolligian, who took the position of director of counseling and psychological services at Princeton in September, was praised by Jim Welsh, Georgetown’s assistant vice president for student health, as an “excellent clinician with good management skills.”

Kolligian encouraged his successor to make an effort to get to know students and learn to appreciate the talented group of colleagues he or she will be surrounded with.

“Understand the Georgetown community and culture,” he said. “Go into overdrive to do everything you can to continue to take good care of your staff and students.”

Kolligian praised Georgetown for its high level of support for mental health services. Even during times of fiscal concern, CAPS was “permitted to add positions, acquire new offices, and upgrade [its] IT capabilities,” he said.

Welsh said that Kolligian was “very successful” in his time at Georgetown. Kolligian is credited with adding a significant number of new clinicians to Georgetown, as well as acquiring approval for a new patient management system.

Kolligian said that the decision to leave Georgetown was difficult. Although he had planned on being at Georgetown for a long time, he cited his familiarity with the Princeton community, as well as closer proximity to his family and friends as the main reasons for leaving Georgetown.

A nationwide search, led by Welsh and Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson, is already underway to find a replacement for Kolligian. The university hopes to have a new director by next summer, according to university spokeswoman Laura Cavender.

Welsh would like to see the new CAPS director “expand and improve the programs that [Kolligian] put in place.”

Gordon, who is currently leading CAPS, has been involved with the service for 17 years, serving as director of training prior to her appointment as interim director.

Before coming to Georgetown, Kolligian spent nine years as a senior psychologist and coordinator of psychology training at Columbia University.

Kolligian hopes that “CAPS will continue its excellent work and expand to meet the increasing needs of the campus community.”

The role of CAPS is to help students overcome mental health related issues. They deal with victims of rape, sexual assault and eating disorders, as well as with stress-related concerns that frequently afflict college students.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.