Xavier names new provost

President Colleen Hanycz, PhD, announced the appointment of Rachel Chrastil, PhD, as the next provost and chief academic officer of Xavier University.

New Xavier Provost Rachel Chrastil, PhD

“Dr. Chrastil has a unique set of leadership experiences for this distinctive time at Xavier,” Hanycz said. “As we head into our strategic planning process, she will play an important role in bringing forward new ideas for Xavier’s future. Dr. Chrastil recently led our Higher Learning Commission accreditation process, which gave her an understanding of our entire university and the interconnectedness of our work across the institution.

“In addition, Dr. Chrastil has supported two other large-scale university initiatives. She has led the academic team as part of Xavier’s COVID-19 Task Force, which has successfully managed Xavier through the difficulties of the higher education experience during COVID times. She has also guided Xavier’s Take It On initiative to advance critical thinking and dialogue related to politics at a time when this kind of approach for our nation is needed most.”

Chrastil said, “I am honored to serve the students of Xavier University in this new way, working alongside colleagues dedicated to our students’ intellectual and ethical development, success and well-being. Xavier’s Jesuit Catholic educational mission has deeply shaped my life, and it is my privilege to carry this mission forward during Xavier’s next chapter. It is an exciting time at Xavier as we embark on strategic planning under the leadership of Dr. Hanycz.”

Chrastil will assume the role Jan. 1.

A scholar of modern Europe and the author of “Organizing for War: France, 1870-1914” and “The Siege of Strasbourg,” Chrastil’s latest book, “How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children,” examines the causes, interpretations, and experiences of childlessness in Western countries during the modern era. Chrastil’s work on childlessness has appeared in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Cincinnati Edition, New Books Network, and the podcast Think Act Be. 

Chrastil served as Xavier’s Accreditation Liaison Officer to the Higher Learning Commission and to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. She oversaw the preparation for Xavier University’s 2021 affirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.

Chrastil served as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences on a rotating term from January 2017 to June 2020. She was responsible for strategic planning regarding shared governance, registration, diversity and inclusion, and faculty development, and worked closely with faculty on honors, international and interdisciplinary programs. Previous responsibilities included oversight of curriculum development, assessment and communication.

Chrastil came to Xavier in 2005 as an assistant professor of history and was named professor in 2017.

Chrastil received her PhD from Yale University and her BA from Indiana University, and studied at the Université de Provence. She was a Fulbright Scholar in 2009 and has researched extensively across France. In 2015, she was awarded the Roger A. Fortin Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship in the Humanities.

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