Centenary University President Bruce Murphy appointed Amy D’Olivo, an experienced leader with more than 25 years of higher education experience, as the university’s vice president for academic affairs, according to a Thursday announcement.
D’Olivo will join the administration of incoming Centenary President Dale Caldwell, who was appointed the university’s 15th president several months after Murphy announced his plans to retire, effective June 30. Caldwell, who provided input to the search for a new vice president for academic affairs, will begin his tenure July 1.
D’Olivo, who previously held the post at Centenary and is a former VPAA emerita at the school, also will begin her new term in the position July 1. She will succeed interim Vice President for Academic Affairs David Dauwalder, who assisted in the search for the position.
In making the announcement, Murphy cited D’Olivo’s impressive credentials and experience at Centenary, as well as the rigor of the selection process.
“The search and screen committee, chaired by Vice President for Business and Finance Denton Stargel, conducted an extremely thorough and extensive search to identify a pool of highly qualified candidates,” he said. “Dr. D’Olivo’s track record at Centenary, where she oversaw significant expansion of academic programs, will be instrumental in advancing Centenary’s mission to be the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Skylands Region. I am extremely pleased to welcome her back to Centenary University.”
D’Olivo’s 25 years’ experience includes 13 years in leadership positions. She joined the Centenary faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor of sociology, gradually assuming administrative roles at the university, including chair of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department and associate provost. She was appointed vice president for academic affairs in 2017, and also held the position of acting president in 2018 during a monthlong interim period between presidents.
As vice president for academic affairs, D’Olivo was responsible for all aspects of academic affairs, including oversight and planning for undergraduate and graduate programs. In that role, she facilitated the addition of new academic programs to meet emerging market needs, including the new RN to BSN program, which is currently enrolling students for the fall 2023 semester, and the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies.
She also established a host of strategic partnerships to strengthen the university’s admissions pool with more than 10 area high schools, five community colleges and several nonprofits. A partnership with the Low-cost Model Consortium and Acadium led to the introduction of new academic programs, including the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with minimal investment from Centenary.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, D’Olivo led the university’s swift transition to online learning. Despite the turbulence of that era, Centenary students didn’t miss a single day of classes.
A graduate of Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology, D’Olivo earned a Master of Science in applied sociology from Clemson University and a doctorate in religion and society from Drew University.