Notre Dame is governed by the Board of Fellows and the Board of Trustees. The senior leadership of the University is comprised of the President’s Leadership Council and the Deans’ Council.

University Executive Officers

  • Thomas G. Burish

    Charles and Jill Fischer Provost

    Thomas G. Burish was elected the fourth provost of the University of Notre Dame on July 21, 2005. Dr. Burish served as president of Washington and Lee University from 2002 to 2005 and was Vanderbilt University’s provost from 1993 to 2002. After his graduation from Notre Dame in 1972, Dr. Burish received master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology and clinical psychology from the University of Kansas.

    The challenge of wrapping together our faith-based heritage while further strengthening our academic excellence is a rare opportunity and, for me, a special dream.

    Appointment Acceptance, 2005

  • Shannon B. Cullinan

    Executive Vice President

    Shannon Cullinan was elected executive vice president effective July 2019 after serving as vice president for finance since 2017.? He returned to his alma mater in 2000 serving as assistant vice president for Public Affairs and Communications, assistant vice president for Development, associate vice president for Continuous Improvement and Campus Services, and associate vice president for University Relations.? Cullinan previously served as the associate executive director of the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, and he also owned and operated an advertising company.? He graduated from Notre Dame in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and earned his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.


The University of Notre Dame is governed by a two-tiered structure (Fellows of the University and the Board of Trustees), in which lay men and women have joined with religious of the Indiana Province of Holy Cross in the governance of the University. The Fellows of the University are a “self-perpetuating body,” consisting of six members who at all times must be “members of the Priests Society of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Indiana Province, and six of whom shall be lay persons.” The Fellows are the associates in office of the original founders of the University and, among other responsibilities, determine powers to be delegated to the Board of Trustees.

Read more about the responsibilities of both the Fellows and Board of Trustees.