John Cavanaugh


Dr. John C. Cavanaugh became President and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area on March 1, 2013. The Consortium consists of 14 universities: American University, Catholic University, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Marymount University, National Defense University, National Intelligence University, Trinity Washington University, University of the District of Columbia, and University of Maryland College Park. Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (2008-2013) where was the chief executive officer of 14 comprehensive universities with a combined enrollment of nearly 120,000 students. From 2002 to 2008, Dr. Cavanaugh served as president of the University of West Florida in Pensacola. He served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington from 1999 to 2002. He also held various positions at the University of Delaware, including vice provost for academic programs and planning, associate provost for graduate studies, interim associate provost for admissions and financial aid, and chair of the Department of Individual and Family Studies. Dr. Cavanaugh is a nationally recognized leader in higher education policy and innovation. He has facilitated the creation of two statewide high bandwidth research and education networks (Florida LambdaRail and KINBER/PennREN), led the creation of innovative technology-based teaching and administrative solutions, and led statutory and regulatory reform efforts (e.g., Higher Education Modernization Act in Pennsylvania). Dr. Cavanaugh began his academic career as an adjunct instructor of psychology at Indiana University at South Bend while completing work on his doctoral degree at the University of Notre Dame. His first permanent faculty appointment was at Bowling Green State University. He held various appointments at Bowling Green, including head of the developmental psychology program and director of the Institute for Psychological Research and Application. He also was director for behavioral research at the Northwest Ohio Dementia and Memory Center at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo, which he helped co-found, for five years. Dr. Cavanaugh attended St. Joseph's College in Philadelphia before earning a bachelor's degree in psychology with high honors from the University of Delaware. He also holds both a master's degree and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Notre Dame, and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota's Center for Research in Human Learning and the Institute of Child Development. He was as an American Council on Education Fellow in 1994-1995 and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Divisions 1, 2, 3, and 20), a Charter Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. He serves as president of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Board of Trustees, and a commissioner of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Dr. Cavanaugh is a member of the Marygrove College Board of Trustees and of the IMS Global Learning Consortium Executive Strategic Council. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), as treasurer of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO), as both chair of the organization's Federal Relations Committee and an elected member of the Executive Committee, and as secretary-treasurer of the National Association of System Heads (NASH). He also was chair of the Policies and Purposes Committee of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU),. He was a member of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Advisory Committee on College Readiness. He previously served on several national advisory boards, including the Chronicle of Higher Education and New York Times Higher Education Cabinet; member and chair of the National Flight Academy; and the Walt Disney College and International Program Advisory Board. In the community, he serves on the PinnacleHealth Board of Directors and was a board member of the World Affairs Council of Harrisburg, and is a member of Rotary International. He is married to Dr. Christine K. Cavanaugh, with whom he collaborates on leadership issues in higher education, and on topics in gerontology. He greatly enjoys cooking, travel, photography, and backpacking.

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