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shanleyhead.jpgFather Shanley was elected the 12th president of Providence College in 2005. He serves as a member of the Providence College Board of Trustees and the Providence College Corporation (ex-officio).

Immediately prior to becoming president, Father Shanley served as an associate professor of philosophy at The Catholic University of America. He earlier taught philosophy at PC and was a visiting professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

Father Shanley holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy of Religion. After completing undergraduate studies in history at PC in 1980, he earned a licentiate in philosophy from The Catholic University of America. He also holds a master of divinity and a licentiate in sacred theology from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.

In 1987, he was ordained a priest in the Dominican Order. As former regent of studies for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph, Father Shanley held a seat on the Provincial Council, a body of 12 Dominican friars serving as cabinet-level advisors to the prior provincial. He advised the prior provincial on all matters pertaining to the intellectual and academic life of the province.

Father Shanley has served on the executive committee of the American Catholic Philosophical Association. He also has served as associate editor and editor of The Thomist and as a member of the editorial board for the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. Widely published in philosophy-focused academic journals, his research interests include Thomas Aquinas, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, medieval philosophy, and ethics.

Father Shanley is a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU). He also served as chair of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of R.I. (AICURI).

He has recently been elected to serve as a Commissioner in Higher Education (CIHE) for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  His three-year term will begin in July 2012.

Major Accomplishments
  • Established the College’s first Vice President for Mission & Ministry to help Providence College reaffirm its Catholic and Dominican roots/mission.  Has now grown that effort to include global outreach efforts grounded in the Dominican tradition.
  • Oversaw first development and now implementation of the College’s five year (2011-2015) Strategic Plan.
  • Oversaw development of the College’s new Core Curriculum, slated to begin in September 2012.
  • Established the Providence College School of Business and positioned the School to seek accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).  The multi-year effort to gain accreditation is coming to a close and the College expects to receive a final decision from AACSB later this summer.
  • Initiated a four-year pilot program to make SAT score optional for prospective students wishing to apply to Providence College.  The success of this pilot program has now led to it having been adopted as permanent policy at the College.
  • Has made Diversity a high priority of his administration including supporting the advancement of diversity as one of the five core values of the College’s new Strategic Plan, hiring the College’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer, investing in additional financial aid for first-generation students, and attracting diversity in faculty hires.
  • Initiated and oversaw a focused capital development plan to update and renovate existing facilities, construct new facilities and improve the overall appeal of the campus.
  • Established the Angel Fund to help students most in-need of financial aid matriculate to Providence College.
  • Initiated a focused investment in the Sciences with a $4.2 million renovation of the College’s science labs in 2007 to enhance opportunities for collaborative faculty-student research in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and engineering/physics systems. 
​​​Chrissy Centazzo
Public Affairs and Community Relations Coordinator
Catholic and Dominican

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