Gillis Steps Down As Georgetown College Dean

COURTESY GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY Chester Gillis, dean of Georgetown College since 2009, will retire from the position at the end of the 2016-17 academic year, and return to the theology department in 2017.

COURTESY GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY
Chester Gillis, dean of Georgetown College since 2009, will retire from the position at the end of the 2016-17 academic year, and return to the theology department in 2017.

Georgetown College Dean Chester Gillis will conclude his duties as dean at the end of the 2016-17 academic year, University President John J. DeGioia announced in a campus-wide email Tuesday.

“As Dean of the College, Chet has overseen the implementation of many new academic programs, including new majors in African-American Studies; Justice and Peace; Biological Physics; and Environmental Biology; and new minors in Business; Film and Media Studies; Journalism; Education, Inquiry, and Justice; Philosophy and Bioethics; Cognitive Science; and Korean,” DeGioia wrote.

In the email, DeGioia said he would create a committee to find a replacement for Gillis.

“Please join me in expressing our sincerest gratitude to Chet for his deep care and dedication to the members of our Georgetown community and wishing him all the best as he prepares to conclude his service as dean,” DeGioia wrote.

Gillis was unavailable for comment as of press time.

Gillis has served in his current role since 2009. Prior to becoming dean of Georgetown College, Gillis served as the amaturo chair in Catholic studies in the Georgetown department of theology. Gillis will return to the theology department as a faculty member in 2017 after a brief sabbatical.

Gillis has published numerous works on topics such as comparative religion and Roman Catholicism. Gillis also co-edits the Columbia University Press Series on Religion and Politics.

Chief of Staff of the Office of the President Joseph Ferrara praised Gillis’ contributions to the Georgetown community, adding that he is eager to cooperate with Gillis in finding his successor. “His leadership and vision have advanced the College and the Georgetown community in countless ways. We look forward to working with [Gillis] over the next year to ensure a smooth transition in the leadership of the College and to support his return to the faculty,” Ferrara wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Students also expressed their gratitude for Gillis’ work in the College. “I think that it’s sad to see him go. His many years of service, as well as everything he’s done for the school, will definitely be appreciated,” George Jose (COL ’18) said. “He’s been serving as an advocate for the students and he won’t be easy to replace.”

Students outside Georgetown College also acknowledged Gillis’s work, particularly in expanding minor and certificate programs for non-College students.

“I think it’s really cool how he started many programs like the justice and peace program,” Megan Patel (SFS ’18) said. “It’s hard for schools to partner with each other, so his work to help with that was really good.”

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