ODU president retiring in 2021
John R. Broderick has been university's president since 2008.
Old Dominion University President John R. Broderick announced Monday that he will be retiring in summer 2021.
” I am proud of the many breakthroughs Old Dominion has achieved in the past 12 years, including more than $940 million in new or committed resources. I look forward to watching Old Dominion climb many more mountains, and I will be applauding your every success in 2021 and beyond,” Broderick said in a letter to the university community.
A search for his successor is expected to take at least a year, he said.
“This has been a difficult decision for me, particularly as we face the challenges of dealing with the global COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote Broderick, who said he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Kate, and their children and grandchildren.
“Rest assured, as I enter my 13th year as president, I remain energized daily by this job, especially now, as it requires my full attention nearly every waking hour. I assure you — as I did the Board of Visitors — that my commitment will not waver until the ninth president of ODU enters Koch Hall.
The eighth president of the Norfolk-based public university, Broderick assumed office as acting president in 2008 and was named president in 2009. He joined ODU in 1993 as director of public information and later became an associate vice president and acting vice president. Prior to his tenure at ODU, Broderick worked as a faculty member for the University of Pittsburgh and as an administrator at St. Bonaventure University. A native of Connecticut, he received his bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University and his graduate degree from St. Bonaventure.
He has helped raise more than $950 million in public and private funding and saw ODU expand research in fields ranging from flooding resilience to cybersecurity and modeling and simulation.
Centers and initiatives launched at ODU during his tenure include the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience, the Center for Global Health, the Center for Cybersecurity Education and Research, the Brooks Crossing Innovation and Opportunity Center, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency, the Virginia Institute for Spaceflight and Autonomy, the Hampton Roads Maritime Collaborative for Growth & Innovation, and the Diehn School of Music.
During his presidency, Old Dominion also received its largest gift — a $37 million donation from Richard and Carolyn Barry for ODU’s Barry Art Museum, which opened in 2018. He’s also overseen the construction of a $75.6 million chemistry building and the $20 million Student Success Center and Learning Commons.
Football also returned to ODU in 2009 after a 69-year absence, and the S.B. Ballard Stadium was rebuilt.
The Broderick Dining Commons is named for Broderick and his wife. And the school’s Diversity Champion Award is also named for him in honor of Broderick’s record of championing inclusion efforts at the university. He oversaw the reorganization of ODU’s Office of Affirmative Action into the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, created the Office of Intercultural Relations and established the President’s Task Force for Inclusive Excellence. For his initiatives on diversity, the Diversity Champion Award was renamed in his honor. In addition, the Broderick Dining Commons was named for the President and First Lady Kate Broderick at the request of student leaders to recognize their commitment to inclusion initiatives and student success.
Broderick has received numerous honors, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ 2019 President’s Award, the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’ Humanitarian Award, the Urban League of Hampton Roads’ Marian Palmer Capps Award and a Visionary Award from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.