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Notre Dame names Rev. Robert Dowd as next university president

Rev. Robert Dowd, Notre Dame's president-elect
Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame
Rev. Robert Dowd, Notre Dame's president-elect

The University of Notre Dame on Monday announced it has selected a new president to lead the school.

Rev. Robert Dowd will take over as the university’s 18th president in July, succeeding Rev. John Jenkins, who has been Notre Dame’s leader since 2005 and announced he was stepping down in October.

Dowd is currently the university's vice president and associate provost for interdisciplinary initiatives. In that role, he oversees multiple campus offices including the Center for Social Concerns, the McGrath Institute for Church Life, the DeBartolo Center for Performing Arts and the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art.

“We can all be grateful for Father Jenkins’ selfless and courageous leadership for almost two decades,” Dowd said in a university release. “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.”

Dowd grew up in Michigan City and graduated from Notre Dame as an undergraduate in 1987. He is also a university trustee, an associate professor of political science and the religious superior of the Holy Cross community on campus. He has been at Notre Dame since 1994, working with Campus Ministry and serving as rector of a men's residence hall among other duties.

Dowd's listed research interests include the intersection of religious and political identity, specifically in Africa.

The chair of Notre Dame's board of trustees Jack Brennan said Dowd is poised to continue the leadership of past presidents.

“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," Brennan said in the release.

Brennan himself has also announced he is stepping down from his role as chair of the trustees in May. The university has already announced current board member John Veihmeyer will replace Brennan.

Marek Mazurek has been with WVPE since April 2023, though he's been in Michiana for most of his life. He has a particular interest in public safety reporting. When he's not on the radio, Marek enjoys getting way too into Notre Dame football and reading about medieval English history.