University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Named Chair of Board of Directors of the Big East Conference


Courtesy of AP Photo // Matt Rourke

President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Jay Wright posed for photographs during a rally celebrating the Wildcats’ NCAA college basketball championship in 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Emily Cox Co-Editor-in-Chief

Effective July 1, 2020, University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, will serve as Chair of the Big East Conference Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is composed of the presidents of the Big East’s member institutions. 

Father Peter will replace James M. Danko, President of Butler University, who has served as the Big East Board Chair since 2018. Father Peter has served as the Big East Vice-Chair for the past two years and has served on the Big East’s Executive Committee since 2016. Rev. Michael J. Graham, S.J., President of Xavier University, was selected to fill the Vice Chair position, and Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, S.J., President of Creighton University, has been appointed to the Executive Committee as a new member. 

Father Peter played a leading role in the formation of the current Big East configuration in 2013, which returned the league to its basketball-centric heritage. Under Donohue’s stewardship, the University was the recipient of the Big East Presidents’ Award in 2015, 2016 and 2018.  The award annually recognizes a member school that has excelled at the highest levels of academics, athletics and citizenship during the preceding academic year.

The Executive Committee appointments were made in conjunction with the annual spring meeting of the Big East Board of Directors, which was conducted remotely.  NCAA President Mark Emmert addressed the group on national issues, including strategies to address COVID-19 and developments surrounding name, image and likeness (NIL) in college athletics.  The Presidents were also briefed on the progress of the Big East COVID-19 Task Force, whose members include national health experts, athletics administrators, head coaches, physicians, trainers, event/facility personnel and student-athletes.

The Big East also announced the formation of a conference-wide COVID-19 Task Force to provide guidance and develop recommendations to assist member schools in safely resuming and conducting athletics activities.  In addition, the conference announced plans for a regionalized scheduling model for conference play in the fall.  The changes were approved by the league’s Directors of Athletics. The Big East COVID-19 Task Force roster appears at the end.

The changes to the 2020 fall sports regular-season schedules impact Big East men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball and field hockey. Soccer and volleyball will be separated into East and Midwest Divisions, while field hockey will move to North and South Divisions. Men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey divisional opponents will face each other two times each in a double round-robin format, while volleyball divisional opponents will play each other four times.

Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s Seton Hall, Villanova, and returning member Connecticut will compose the East Division for men’s soccer, women’s soccer and volleyball. Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Marquette and Xavier will make up the Midwest Division. 

For field hockey, Connecticut, Providence and affiliate members Quinnipiac and Temple will comprise the North Division, while Georgetown, Villanova and affiliate members Liberty and Old Dominion will make up the South Division. 

Big East schedules will be developed using NCAA Championship date formulas to ensure completion of the conference schedules in time for the national postseason. Big East fall championship dates, sites and formats will be announced at a later date. 

Big East COVID-19 Task Force Members

Dr. Rebecca Katz – Professor and Director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center

Dr. James Lawler – Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine; Director of International Programs and Innovation for the Global Center for Health Security, University of Nebraska

Dr. Renuga Vivekanandan – Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Creighton School of Medicine

Mike Cragg – Athletic Director, St. John’s University 

Bob Driscoll – Athletic Director, Providence College

Susan Lipnickey – Senior Woman Administrator, Xavier University

Dr. Doug Ramos – Physician, Creighton University  

Dr. Deena Casiero – Physician, University of Connecticut

Dr. Mike Duncan – Physician, Villanova University

Ralph Reiff – Athletic Trainer, Butler University

Tony Testa – Athletic Trainer, Seton Hall University

Brandon Yoder – Athletic Trainer, Marquette University

Doug Bruno – Head Women’s Basketball Coach, DePaul University

Sharon Clark Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, Butler University

Kevin Willard – Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Seton Hall University

Sari Cureton – Student-Athlete, Women’s Basketball, Georgetown University

Christian Rega – Student-Athlete, Men’s Lacrosse, St. John’s University

Jason Poppe – Assistant Athletics Director for Events and Operations, Georgetown University

Kevin Sarver – Associate Athletic Director, Creighton University