Todd Olson

Todd Olson is completing his 17th year as Vice President for Student Affairs at Georgetown.

Photo of Todd Olson

He has also served as an adjunct faculty member throughout much of his 34-year career in higher education. Todd is a Minnesota native and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota-Morris, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology at the University of Kansas, where he developed a leadership seminar and wrote his thesis on leadership development and college students.


He worked at the University of Denver for sixteen years in a variety of positions and earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education there, writing his dissertation on partnerships between faculty and student affairs staff to enhance student learning. At Denver, Todd was one of the founders of the Pioneer Leadership Program, a signature academic and residential learning program.


Todd joined the staff at Georgetown in 2002, first serving as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs. He began his Vice President role in 2003.  Todd provides leadership for the 15 departments and 140 professional staff in Student Affairs.  He has served on the steering committee of the Engelhard Curriculum Infusion Project at Georgetown from its inception. Todd has been active in campus planning efforts, in policy revisions related to alcohol, sexual assault, and bias reporting, and in developing new programs linking academic and co-curricular life. He led the creation of the Healey Family Student Center on campus, and has played a major role in Georgetown’s new residential facilities as well. During the 2017-2018 year, Todd served as Chair of the AJCU (Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities) Mission Examen self-study committee for Georgetown, delivering final reports to AJCU leaders in April 2018. Todd serves nationally as President of the Jesuit student affairs organization, JASPA. Todd served for ten years as a member of the Policy Committee for the Patriot League athletic conference, and recently served a two-year term as chair of the James E. Scott Academy within NASPA, a leading national student affairs association.

 

Todd is a graduate of the AJCU’s Ignatian Colleagues Program, an 18-month intensive formation program for lay leaders in Jesuit higher education. He was also a participant in the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities Rome Seminar in 2012, spending a week in Rome meeting with Vatican officials, studying with Catholic scholars, and learning about global Catholic higher education.


Todd has served as a faculty member at three student affairs training institutes, and three national Jesuit Leadership seminars. He has served as a consultant for Loyola University Chicago and for the Ministry of Education in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He was also on the AJCU Mission Examen review teams at Fairfield University and Saint Joseph’s University. He was one of the lead authors of a set of principles for student affairs practice at Catholic colleges and universities, and is now participating on the national leadership team to update those principles for the 2020s. He has co-authored articles on entrepreneurial leadership and on curriculum infusion.  He recently authored a book chapter on dealing with controversial speakers and events in a Catholic context.


Todd is an adjunct instructor at Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies, where he is in his first year teaching in the Higher Education Administration program. He is  He also serves as an assistant professor in the School of Nursing and Health Studies at Georgetown. He teaches one course each year there to undergraduates, entitled Group Dynamics in Health Promotion.