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Keating sets goals for BC

Published: Monday, September 10, 2001

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01

In the life-long game of career moves, not everyone finds their dream job. According to new Executive Vice President Patrick J. Keating, the move to Boston College was the combination of everything he wanted in a job at a time in his life that allowed him and his wife to move from Chicago to Boston.

Keating joins BC after working for UNext, a for-profit Internet company that organizes MBA course work with Carnegie Mellon University, the Columbia Business School, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Stanford University and the University of Chicago. Thus, he has extensive experience working with large universities.

Prior to his time at UNext, he spent 15 years at Carnegie Mellon University. He served as the vice president for business, as the chief financial officer and as the vice president for university planning, among other roles.

“I’ve always wanted to work at a Catholic university, an urban university and a university with a school of education,” says Keating. “Boston College had all the things I wanted.”

Keating, who is Catholic, says, “Carnegie Mellon was not Catholic, so the character here is very different. There is something special about a Catholic school and I’ve found a special character here. BC shows that the heart of a Catholic-Jesuit institution is alive.”

After he accepted the position last June, Keating and his wife moved to Brookline.

“It’s impressive what Frank did,” he said of his predecessor, Francis Campanella. “I’ve been in positions similar to this and I am excited and challenged. I hope to continue everything Frank did and learn new things along the way.”

Keating hopes to become an active member of the community. He said he would like to meet other administrators and learn more about the school. While he has already met the other vice presidents, he still wants to meet with all the deans and understand their schools.

“As for my long-term goals, those will have to evolve,” says Keating. He did note that he plans to be very involved in the master plan, which maps out the University’s long-term goals for construction and expansion.

“I want to be active in the construction process and the master plan,” he said. “I worked with a master plan at Carnegie Mellon, and BC’s master plan is very positive, but I still need a full briefing and [to] learn about the status and schedule of the projects.”

Since the largest part of the BC master plan deals with construction involving residence halls, Keating wants to remain in constant communication with students.

“Communication with residents is critical to minimize impact,” he said. “Tom [Devine, associate vice president for facilities management] and Cheryl [Presley, vice president for student affairs] are very concerned with this as well. The experience of having done this project already will help ensure that it is done right. Already, residents have already been told if they are living in a dorm that will be under construction.”

“I am trying to take the lead from Cheryl [Presley] and be involved with student groups to learn their needs and concerns,” Keating continued. “At Carnegie Mellon I was involved with student groups and I’d like to be as involved here.” Keating will begin that process this week when he plans to sit down with members of the UGBC.

At the faculty convocation last Wednesday, Keating praised the University’s rich, deep tradition and high quality in education, service and research. He noted the level of competition in higher education for research funds as well as talented educators.

“But there is a strong base here,” he said. “I am confident in our ability to live up to our legacy of sound planning.”

Keating holds a doctorate in higher administration education from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in public policy studies from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan State University. Aside from his work in the education field, he also served in the Michigan state government.

“BC is such a positive environment and it has a great feeling to it,” says Keating. “I’m glad I took the job. It was the right thing at the right time – I would kick myself if I hadn’t taken it.”

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