Dean, provost, administrators reflect on decade-long tenure

Scott Appleby will step down from his position as Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs, effective June 30, after having served in this role since the school’s founding in 2014. 

Appleby told the Rover, “I decided to step down now because this is my tenth year as dean and I believe two five-year terms as a dean is probably enough in most cases. In my case, my team and I have worked hard to launch the Keough School on a solid foundation with a promising future, and now we are ready for new leadership to take things to the next level.”

John T. McGreevy, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of the University of Notre Dame, also provided comments to the Rover: “Scott has been not only the inaugural dean for the Keough School, but a transformative dean. The academic programs he has established, the faculty he has hired, and the vision he has developed are all exceptional. All of it will shape and guide the Keough School in coming years.”

Other administrators and professors from the Keough School also expressed their appreciation for Appleby’s leadership.

“The Keough School grew in its first decade faster than I think anyone might have predicted,” remarked Ted Beatty, a professor of history and global affairs who served under Appleby as the inaugural Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Keough School from 2015–2022. 

Looking back on his tenure, Appleby enumerated several accomplishments: “The recruiting and appointment of outstanding faculty, the hiring of superb staff who run the day-to-day operations of the School, and the creation of new academic programs.” 

Appleby continued, explaining the various academic programs: “The Master of Global Affairs degree program, which brings talented young students of development, peace, human rights, governance, poverty, and environmental change to Notre Dame from around the world to deepen their knowledge of global challenges and hone their professional skills; a new major in global affairs, which gives undergraduates the opportunity to apply knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines to complex, multidimensional global challenges; and new doctoral programs in sustainable development and peace studies.”

Appleby’s unnamed successor will take over as dean on June 30, 2024.

The process for selecting a new dean is outlined in the Academic Articles of the university. According to the document, the search is facilitated by a committee chaired by the provost, consisting of “four tenured faculty of the school elected by the regular faculty of the school.”

According to the announcement, the university has employed the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to conduct an “international search” for the next dean.

Appleby explained why the search extends globally: “The search is for a scholar who conducts research globally and has significant experience living or working in a society and culture other than the U.S. A dean of a global affairs school at Notre Dame must be an outstanding scholar and teacher as well as an able academic administrator and leader who understands and embraces the Catholic mission of Notre Dame.”

Regarding possible replacements, Provost McGreevy remarked, “We have an extraordinary pool of candidates but can’t make any announcement beyond that.”

Beatty commented on the responsibility of the next Keough dean to follow up on Appleby’s work, saying, “The next dean will continue to face challenges and growth opportunities: a transition from the ‘start-up’ mode and mentality of the first decade to a more standardized, smooth running set of processes and expectations; the opportunity of working closely with broader university priorities across campus; and building the external reputation of the School among a large number of long-established international and global affairs programs at U.S. and foreign universities.”

Beatty remarked on Appleby’s future work at the university: “Scott Appleby is one of the most accomplished, prominent, and decorated scholars at the University of Notre Dame, based solely on his research profile. Stepping down as an administrative leader is a loss to Notre Dame’s institutional leadership capacity, but a gain for its research reputation.”

The Keough School’s mission, according to Appleby, is “to advance dignity and integral human development through multidisciplinary, policy-engaged scholarship and teaching.”

Appleby continued: “We have among our faculty experts in Catholic social teaching, as well as theologians, environmentalists, engineers, legal scholars, historians, economists, political scientists and sociologists, among others, who work in the Global South partnering with, among other organizations, Catholic colleges and research centers, as well as the Vatican. Our focus on poverty and global inequality, environmental justice and sustainability, democracy and human rights, and peacebuilding aligns well with Global Catholicism and with the strategic initiatives now being undertaken by the University.”

Following his tenure as dean, Appleby will continue to research and teach at Notre Dame. The author of 15 books, Appleby also teaches in the Department of History, and his research includes the areas of global religion, American religious history, and Catholicism in the United States.

Michael Canady is a sophomore from northern Virginia. In his overenthusiasm after a recent lecture by Robert Putnam, he has recently taken up a new hobby: bowling alone. Ask him what his high score is at

Photo Credit: University of Notre Dame

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