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CINCINNATI – Xavier University President Colleen Hanycz, PhD, announced the appointment of Rachel Chrastil, PhD, as the next Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Xavier University.


“I am pleased to share that Dr. Rachel Chrastil has accepted the role of Provost and Chief Academic Officer,” Hanycz said. “Dr. Chrastil has a unique set of leadership experiences for this distinctive time at Xavier. As we head into our strategic planning process, Dr. Chrastil 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 stated, “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 beginning Jan. 1, 2022.


Chrastil is 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


As Director of Accreditation, 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 currently leads the Academic Team on the COVID-19 Task Force. In this role, she developed and executed the University strategy for academics as Xavier prepared for the 2020-2021 academic year, in collaboration with faculty and staff across the entire University.


Chrastil oversees Xavier’s Take It On initiative, which is building the campus capacity for constructive, reflective dialogue and proactively addressing our nation’s political polarization and divisiveness by drawing on Xavier’s Jesuit Catholic traditions.


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.


Prior to her appointment as Associate Dean, Chrastil was the Founding Director of the First-Year Seminar at Xavier, which launched in Fall 2015 as part of the new Core Curriculum.


Chrastil came to Xavier in 2005 as an Assistant Professor of History and was named Professor in 2017. Chrastil’s courses include Paris, the Great War, the French Revolution, and A History of Saving the World. In keeping with Xavier’s Jesuit Catholic identity, students in her courses apply analytical rigor to issues associated with morality, spirituality and compassion.


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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