Seminary Hires VP for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that Dr. James R. Downey has been named vice president for planning and institutional effectiveness. He will begin his service Feb. 1, 2012.

In sharing this announcement, Seminary President Dr. William J. Carl III said, “We are excited to have someone with Jim Downey’s knowledge, wisdom, experience, and real streets-smarts in the areas of strategic planning and assessment be the first person to hold this new position at Pittsburgh Seminary. Dr. Downey will resource the broad-based on-campus Strategic Planning Advisory Council (S-PAC) and the newly formed Committee on Institutional Effectiveness of the Board of Directors. His delightful sense of humor brightened our day when at one point during his interview Jim—who holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering—said, ‘Well, you know, strategic planning isn’t rocket science,’ then after a slight pause added, ‘and I can say that because I’m a rocket scientist.’”

Downey earned his bachelor’s in physics from Grove City College, master’s in nuclear science from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and doctorate in aero/astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also served a year-long National Security Fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Downey currently serves as executive director in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Regent University. In this role, Downey is responsible for coordination and oversight of strategic planning, institutional assessment, and continues improvement initiatives. Before assuming this role at Regent University, Downey served as dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies. His additional experience includes serving as professor of science and technology at the United States Army War College and chairman of the Department of Physics and professor of physics and engineering at Grove City College.

Additionally, Downey has served in a number of Air Force assignments including most recently as senior reserve advisor to the director at the Center for Strategy and Technology, Air War College. The list of his professional associations and awards is lengthy. A retired colonel in the United State Air Force Reserves, Downey is a member of the Air Force Reserve Officers Associations, American Association of Physics Teachers, and a member of a number of honor societies. His awards include Air Force Reserve Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year, Macarthur Foundation Fellowship at University of Illinois, and Senior Man of the Year Award from Grove City College among others.