John R. Broderick has served as the eighth president of Old Dominion University (ODU) since 2008.

As president, he guides the University's six colleges, more than 10 economic development and research centers, and numerous partnerships with government, military and business organizations and agencies. He oversees an operating budget in excess of $526 million and more than 2,500 faculty and staff members. More than $338 million in new buildings and building renovations have been authorized or completed on his watch.

Early life

Born in 1957, Broderick is a native of Bristol, Connecticut, United States. He and his wife, Kate Broderick, have three sons and one granddaughter.


Broderick received a bachelor's degree from Northeastern University and a graduate degree from St. Bonaventure University.


Early on in his career, Broderick was a newspaper reporter in Connecticut and Massachusetts and headed tourism and business organizations in both The Berkshires and the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Before coming to Old Dominion University, Broderick was a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh system and an administrator at St. Bonaventure University.

Prior to becoming president of ODU, Broderick served as vice president of institutional advancement and admissions and chief of staff to the president. His areas of responsibility included admissions, athletics, community and governmental relations, marketing, media relations, military affairs and student financial aid.

Presidency of Old Dominion University

In the 10 years leading up to 2012, Old Dominion’s enrollment grew from less than 20,000 to more than 25,000. Broderick, recognizing the need to plan for the future, commissioned a university-wide study designed to establish institutional priorities. The study led to the creation of a comprehensive strategic plan that would provide the blueprint with which to make decisions for the future of the University.[2]

Shortly after becoming president, Broderick introduced a University-wide initiative aimed at student success and learning, which included a $10.2 million Student Success Center and Learning Commons[3] and the creation of a vice president position and division for student engagement and enrollment services. Additionally, he has worked to keep the university affordable and accessible, while maintaining academic standards. He was awarded the 2012 American College Personnel Association's Contribution to Higher Education Award, one of the national organization's highest honors, for his leadership in student success initiatives.[4]

Old Dominion’s strategic plan called for the University to find new ways in which to engage the communities it serves. To support the economic development component of community engagement, Broderick presided over the launch of the ODU Business Gateway,[5] a business-friendly portal to the University, and the Innovation Foundation, a foundation created to help streamline processes by which the University, its faculty and its students can participate in commercial endeavors.[6]

Broderick's pursuit of parity in state funding and responsiveness to legislative calls for more efficiency, affordability and access in higher education have led to historic levels of state funding for Old Dominion and several of its initiatives, in particular modeling and simulation, bioelectrics, increased STEM degrees and online programs, and student financial aid, among others. Over the past two years, Old Dominion received more than $30 million in additional funding from the General Assembly.[7]

Private support for Old Dominion has also increased during Broderick's tenure. The university's endowment has increased $50 million, and private support has helped fund endowed chairs in research and sciences, as well as new or expanded facilities for every arts-related program.

Broderick oversaw the renewal of football at Old Dominion in 2009, with the Monarchs posting the most successful record of any start-up team in FCS history. He served on the NCAA board of directors and as chair of the President's Football Championship Series advisory committee. This past spring, the University announced a membership agreement with Conference USA and a reclassification of its football program from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision.[8]

The President and Mrs. Broderick enjoy attending activities that give them an opportunity to meet and engage with students. They are particularly keen to show their support for ODU’s many international students and share their interest in community service and athletics.

In 2011, they created the Broderick-Evon Award for Community Engagement and Service with the help of other family members who choose to remain anonymous. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated a commitment to service and civic engagement to the university and surrounding community through superior leadership and service. The award, named in honor of President and Mrs. Broderick’s mothers, was presented for the first time on May 3, 2012 at the University’s annual Student Honors and Awards Dinner.

The University's Board of Visitors voted in 2012 to extend his contract to 2017.

Leadership positions

Throughout his career, Broderick has been actively engaged in numerous community and professional organizations. He currently serves as one of six college presidents on the Governor's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment,[9] is a representative to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Council of State Representatives,[10] and is a board member of the Hampton Roads Partnership, Urban League and MacArthur Foundation.

He has lectured on leadership for a variety of institutions and organizations, including the University of Bologna and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Executive Association.

He has also enjoyed many years as a youth soccer league coach in Chesapeake.

Honors and awards

Broderick has been recognized for his contributions to higher education and the Hampton Roads community with the American College Personnel Association's Contribution to Higher Education Award,[11] Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities' Humanitarian Award, the Urban League of Hampton Roads' Marian Palmer Capps Award, the College Communicators Association Distinguished Service Award, Lead Hampton Roads' Julian F. Hirst Award for excellence in community, civic and professional leadership, and a 2011 Visionary Award from the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. He was a finalist for the national PR News' Professional of the Year Award.

Additionally, under his guidance, the university has been named a Chronicle of Higher Education's "Great Place to Work" for two consecutive years.[12]


  1. ^ Board Selects John R. Broderick as Old Dominion University's 8th President, Old Dominion University, 2009-05-18, retrieved 2009-05-18 
  2. ^ Minium, Harry (November 18, 2012), "A growing ODU needs to expand - but how?". The Virginian-Pilot. Accessed on 2013-03-01
  3. ^ Sizemore, Bill (November 27, 2011), "New modern library at Old Dominion speaks volumes". The Virginian-Pilot. Accessed on 2013-03-01
  4. ^ Current winners of the 2012 ACPA Awards, College Student Educators International, retrieved 2013-03-01 
  5. ^ Walzer, Philip (May 5, 2010), "ODU launches Business Gateway". The Virginian-Pilot. Accessed on 2013-03-01
  6. ^ Tyler, Rosalind (September 6, 2012), [1]. New Journal and Guide. Accessed on 2013-04-01
  7. ^ Sluss, Mike (December 15, 2011), [2]. The Virginian-Pilot. Accessed on 2013-04-01
  8. ^ Miller, Ed (May 18, 2012), "ODU leaving CAA, joining Conference USA in 2013". The Virginian-Pilot. Accessed on 2013-03-01
  9. ^ Governor McDonnell Announces Members of Governor's Commission on Higher Education Reform, Innovation and Investment, Commonwealth of Virginia, 2010-05-28, retrieved 2013-03-01 
  10. ^ Page, Derek (February 8, 2012), "President Broderick Appointed to AASCU". The Mace & Crown. Accessed on March 1, 2013
  11. ^ Connors, Mike (March 25, 2012), "ODU president to receive national honor Monday". The Virginian-Pilot. Accessed on 2013-03-01
  12. ^ The Chronicle of Higher Education Great Colleges To Work For 2012, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2012-08-05, retrieved 2013-03-01