Joe Urgo is a deeply experienced higher education administrator in both public and private institutions, having served as a department chair, dean, provost, and president. Successfully completing multiple interim campus leadership roles has allowed him to discover an authentic affinity for repairing and rebuilding structures of communication and collaboration within academic affairs and at the divisional and department level, as well as for coaching academic leaders toward successful participation in shared governance.
Joe has had extensive experience creating programs, attracting financial support from foundations and individuals, and reallocating internal budget priorities to better align with institutional goals and ambitions. At two institutions he created systems of faculty allocation to implement thoughtful re-deployment of academic resources to meet institutional needs. Joe has also led mediation exercises among administrators and faculty members where relations had been strained by prolonged professional misalignment and an absence of empathetic insight.
Having earned leadership positions at a private regional university, a public R-1 flagship institution, as well as private and public liberal arts colleges, Joe is able to introduce multiple models of successful intervention to challenges that inevitably occur on campuses. He has been sought after and successful in situations where an experienced, calming perspective is called on to restore or create confidence in leadership, in governance structures and operations.
Joe has a B.A. in political science from Haverford College, an M.A. in liberal studies from Wesleyan University (CT), and an M.A. and PhD in American civilization from Brown University. A literary scholar, he has written five books, edited nine, and published dozens of essays on topics in American literature, culture, and higher education.