Vincent Kiernan

John Garvey, President of The Catholic University of America, has appointed Vincent Kiernan as dean of the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies, effective June 27, 2016. Kiernan currently serves as associate dean for graduate academic affairs at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University.

As dean of Catholic University’s Metropolitan School of Professional Studies, Kiernan will be the school’s chief executive and academic leader, guiding its vision, generating resources in support of that vision, promoting the visibility of the school externally, and managing all aspects of the school's operations. They include day-to-day operations and leadership, management of staff/faculty, budget and planning, student recruitment/retention/completion, curricular assessment, new programs development, and strategic planning. 

Prior to working at George Mason, Kiernan served as an associate dean at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, where he directed the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies program, in which working adults take courses at night and on weekends toward an interdisciplinary college degree. 

Under his leadership, the program added six new degree concentrations and more than 100 new courses. The program also developed multiple new options for students, such as fully online courses, hybrid courses, morning and afternoon courses, accelerated classes over Christmas break, and classes in an executive education format.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Kiernan join The Catholic University of America as the new dean of the Metropolitan School of Professional Studies,” said Garvey. “He brings interesting research and valuable experience with adult learners to his new role.”

“I am thrilled by this opportunity,” said Kiernan. “The Metropolitan School of Professional Studies has a well deserved reputation for providing excellent educational opportunities for adult learners, and I am looking forward to collaborating with the school’s staff and faculty to extend those opportunities to more students and in more disciplines.”

The new dean received a B.A. in computer science from Cornell University in 1981; an M.A. in mass communication from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 1984; a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2002; an executive master’s in leadership from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2011; as well as a graduate certificate in academic advising and an M.S. in adult and continuing education, both from Kansas State University in 2012. He also had a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during the 1988-1989 academic year.

Kiernan has more than 20 years of experience as a science and medical journalist, including nine years as a senior editor and senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, a weekly trade newspaper and daily Web site in Washington, D.C.

Kiernan’s research centers on science and medical journalism, and more particularly on relationships between journalists and the scientific establishment. His 2006 book, Embargoed Science, critically examines news coverage of the latest research published in scientific journals.