The Board of Trustees elected Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J. as the 28th President of the University of San Francisco on April 8, 2014. He began his tenure on August 1, 2014.
Born in Burbank, Calif., Fr. Fitzgerald earned a B.A. in History from Santa Clara University in 1980. Two years later he entered the Society of Jesus, beginning his religious formation at the Jesuit Novitiate in Montecito, California. After First Vows, he was sent to study Philosophy at the Jesuit-run Hochschule fuer Philosophie in Munich, Germany. He then returned to the United States to teach at Jesuit High School in Sacramento.
Fr. Fitzgerald earned the M.Div. degree in 1991 and a Pontifical Licentiate with an emphasis in Ecclesiology at Weston School of Theology, Cambridge MA in 1993. He attended the University of Paris - La Sorbonne, where he earned a D.E.A. (diplôme des études approfondies) and a Docteur ès Lettres (Ph.D.) in the Sociology of Religion. Concurrently he worked towards an S.T.D. (Pontifical Doctorate) in Ecclesiology from the Institut Catholique de Paris.
Prior to USF, he served as Professor of Religious Studies and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Fairfield University.
After joining the department of Religious Studies at Santa Clara in 1997, Fr. Fitzgerald taught courses and conducted research under the rubrics of both Systematic Theology and Sociology of Religion. He is the author of the book L'Église comme lieu de formation d'une conscience de la concitoyenneté (Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 1999) and numerous scholarly articles and popular essays. He served four years as faculty-in-residence for the Loyola Residential Learning community at Santa Clara and was director of the interdisciplinary Catholic Studies minor for seven years. He served as an adjunct lecturer at the Education College in Xiamen, China (1991) and as a visiting lecturer at Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya (2004).
While at Santa Clara Fr. Fitzgerald served as Associate Dean and Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has served on several university boards, including the Ecclesiastical Board of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College; the Board of Trustees of Loyola University of Chicago, and the Board of Trustees of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.