After 7 years at QU, McCourt departs and reflects on career

By on April 23, 2008

A few weeks before retiring as senior vice president for academic and student affairs, Kathleen McCourt reflected on her time at Quinnipiac with great pride.

Looking back on her seven years at the university, McCourt said the most rewarding part of her time at Quinnipiac has been to watch it grow and develop.

“People know Quinnipiac and it’s great,” she said.

According to McCourt there is an increased respect nationally and internationally because of the accomplishments of both students and faculty.

Last fall, McCourt had the opportunity to interact more closely with students when she was appointed professor of a QU-101 course.

“When I think about it, I’m continuously impressed with what students can accomplish academically, professionally and their service and contributions to the community. It gives me faith in future generations,” she said.

When she was hired in 2001, McCourt’s responsibilities were strictly pertaining to academics: policies, programming and budgeting for the university’s five schools.

Two years ago, however, her office underwent a makeover, integrating academic and student affairs.

The Senior Vice President’s office oversees everything from orientation to student housing to faculty appointments and tenure.

McCourt’s love and passion for her career and time at Quinnipiac radiates from her small but steadfast frame. But as her time here comes to an end she said she is looking forward to giving up her 60-hour work weeks in favor of having more time to do what she enjoys.

The Illinois native has an academic background in urban sociology, and enjoys reading sociological literature, as well as political and historical texts.

She also enjoys indulging in mystery novels every now and again. Her background also contributes to her writing sociological research. She has written and published her research in the past and looks forward to getting back to it.

She did admit though that she will “miss the routine” at Quinnipiac.

McCourt is quite humble when speaking of her contributions to the Quinnipiac community, being sure to point out that she does not work along with, but collaborates with faculty members and administrators.

She highlighted her efforts to encourage students to have an international experience, which she said stemmed from her belief that students need to “engage in the broader world.”

She spoke warmly of Mark Thompson, who has been appointed to take over her position at the beginning of the summer.

“I worked closely with him for many years, he will be a wonderful [senior vice president of academic and student affairs],” she said.

Thompson, the current dean of the School of Business, was selected out of a pool of 100 applicants and after a national search.

“There will be new circumstances and issues in the next seven years than in the last seven years,” she said. “The development of the North Haven campus will be a major challenge, but a wonderful opportunity for him.”

Other changes Thompson will face include expanding study-abroad programs, the expansion of the Schweitzer Institute and the new QU courses that will be here in the fall.


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