On November 13, President Thomas J. LeBlanc will be inaugurated as the seventeenth president of the George Washington University. The ceremony will take place in the Smith Center on Tuesday from 10-11:30 AM. All students, faculty members, staff, and alumni are welcome to attend the event.
In January of this year, the Board of Trustees announced that Thomas Leblanc would replace outgoing president Steven Knapp. President LeBlanc previously functioned as executive vice president, provost and professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Miami, as well as the Chief Budget Officer and Chief Academic Officer. President LeBlanc brings extensive experience in budget management and academic planning to his new role at GW.
President LeBlanc’s first day at the university included a town hall-style meeting with GW students in which he hoped to address concerns at the student level. In late September, as Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that several Title IX provisions installed under the Obama administration would be rolled back, President LeBlanc committed the university to adhere to the stricter, Obama-era regulations. The new President also addressed the hiring crisis at the university, and announced to faculty that he would commit the school to hiring more professors and allowing professors more time and resources towards their research.
On Friday night, as GW men’s basketball held their season opener against Howard, President LeBlanc and his wife, Anne could be seen in the first row among the students, cheering on the Colonials to their first win of the season.
Former President Knapp was less admired by the students due to a reportedly high salary, a lack of willingness to promote more controversial dialogue on campus, and the two Title IX complaints filed against GW under his administration.
Following LeBlanc’s inauguration, there will be a reception in the Science and Engineering Hall featuring a performance by the GW Jazz All-Stars.