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Vice President Paul Kelly to retire

September 12, 2018

Dear Campus Community:

Paul KellyPaul Kelly has served as Vice President for Administration and Finance for more than 30 years. He was appointed to this position in 1988, shortly after Deaf President Now, and has served under all four of Gallaudet’s deaf presidents. Paul will retire on February 1, 2019, leaving a legacy of calm leadership and strong fiscal stewardship.

Paul, a Boston native, came to Gallaudet in August 1981 as manager of financial services and assistant controller. An attorney and certified public accountant, he quickly showed his leadership potential. When Dr. I. King Jordan became President in March 1988, one of his first acts was to appoint Paul as Vice President.

Wrote President Emeritus Jordan, “Paul Kelly worked with me from my first day as president until my last. He was and is the epitome of integrity and honesty. His management of the University’s budget was such that I was always 100 percent confident that we would get through difficult times and do especially well in good times.

“Paul is very level. He is never overly excited or overly concerned. I served twice as president of the Consortium of Universities of the Metropolitan Washington Area, and knew from that experience that of all the Washington, D.C. area schools, Gallaudet had the best chief financial officer.”

Dr. Robert R. Davila, our ninth president, wrote that he “was fortunate to team with Paul Kelly to identify the resources we needed…to retake our respected place in higher education” following a period of turmoil. Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz, our tenth president, echoed Dr. Davila’s sentiments: “Paul Kelly has always been passionate about Gallaudet University. His business acumen, shrewd financial skills and legal expertise have served the university well. He was one of my trusted colleagues, and I enjoyed working closely with him during my six-year presidency.”

When I arrived at Gallaudet in January 2016, Paul brought me up to speed on the university’s finances and acquainted me with our complex funding mechanism. He has continued to do so throughout my tenure, especially now as our community works together to create a stronger, more sustainable Gallaudet. Like my predecessors, I have found him to be a person of the highest integrity, and one who always puts the interests of the university first. I am grateful to Paul for his diligence and his loyalty.

The Administrative Services Review that is now underway will provide us with guidance as to next steps for the transition. More details will be shared this fall. In addition to serving as our chief financial officer, Mr. Kelly serves as University Treasurer; the person in this position is appointed by and reports to the Board of Trustees. The Board also will discuss steps for an orderly transition.

In retirement, Paul plans to spend more time with his wife and their three children and six grandchildren, and to continue his long-time passion for bicycling and running. We thank him for his dedicated service, and wish him well.


Roberta J. Cordano

Posted by Andrew Greenman | Posted September 12, 2018 at 4:18 PM


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002


800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002