Robert Manuel, associate provost and dean of the School of Continuing Studies, will leave Georgetown at the semester’s end to begin his role as president of the University of Indianapolis.

Manuel came to Georgetown in 2006 after serving as assistant dean and clinical associate professor at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Due to Manuel’s time as dean, the SCS has doubled its enrollment and is currently seeking a site in downtown D.C. to build a new home for its programs.

Manuel has also overseen major expansions to the SCS’s programs, including the development of Georgetown’s only part-time bachelor’s program and the introduction of six new master’s programs.

“He brought that vision to life in a comparatively short time,” associate dean of the School of Continuing Studies Vincent Kiernan said.

One of the programs developed under Manuel’s leadership, Georgetown’s Public Relations and Corporate Communications program, was recently deemed by PRWeek the best public relations program in the country for 2012. Although Denise Keyes, associate dean for the Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations and Corporate Communications, created the curriculum for the program, she said Manuel’s leadership was instrumental to the program’s success.

“His contribution and strength is bringing leaders like me from the industry and letting us do our own thing,” she said.

Kiernan emphasized that Manuel has created an atmosphere of collaboration within the administration of the SCS programs.

“One of his greatest skills is an ability to identify really, really sharp talent. … We all share in the vision,” Kiernan said. “It’s been a collaborative vision.”

Edwin Schmierer, associate dean of the Center for Continuing Professional Education, noted that Manuel has incorporated the university’s Jesuit ideals into its professional programs.

“He consistently tied our academic programs to the mission of the university and help[ed] our students become reflective lifelong learners.” Schmierer said. “He reimagined the educational mission of the Jesuits for modern day education.”

Manuel claimed that the integration of traditional values with contemporary outreach was his biggest challenge as dean.

“What weighed me down or woke me up every night was the possibility of failure of the imagination, not of any kind of practical failure,” he said.

Manuel said he was drawn to the private, Methodist University of Indianapolis, because it reflects the same opportunities he saw at Georgetown when he started.

“I saw at U. Indy all of those possibilities that I saw in Georgetown six years ago,” he said. “It was incredibly exciting to think that I could take what I love about Georgetown and use it in a leadership position [there].”

Keyes said she will be sad to see Manuel leave, but feels confident that the SCS will continue on its current trajectory, thanks to his direction.

“His vision was so big that there’s definitely room to grow,” she said.

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