President of Longwood University
Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan became Longwood University's 25th president on July 1, 2010. He came to Longwood from the United States Military Academy at West Point where he served as Dean of the Academic Board from 2005 to June 2010.
Finnegan earned a bachelor of science from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1971, graduating as a commissioned second lieutenant. As a cadet, he served as chair of the Honor Committee and head manager of the Army football team. He then attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he earned a Master of Public Administration degree in 1973. Finnegan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia Law School in 1979. While attending law school, he was a member of the editorial board of the Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society.
As West Point's chief academic officer, Finnegan was responsible for the overall academic program for 4,400 cadets, including supervision of the activities, programs, personnel, courses, curriculum, and methods of instruction in 13 academic departments, as well as the Jefferson Hall Library and Learning Center. He allocated budgetary resources among these organizations; managed a $64 million budget; coordinated selection and assignment of almost 600 military and civilian faculty members; coordinated academic schedules and instructional facilities; and chaired the Real Property Planning Board and the Athletic Committee.
During his tenure as dean of the academic board, West Point ranked as the "Number One College in the Nation" by Forbes magazine; ranked as the "Number One Public Liberal Arts College" in the nation by U.S. News and World Report (two consecutive years); and ranked fourth among undergraduate engineering programs nationally. In addition, West Point ranked number one by The Princeton Review for the "Most Accessible Faculty" and in the top 10 among national colleges and universities for the best classroom experience and classroom discussions.
From 1999-2005, Finnegan was professor and head of the West Point Department of Law, where he was responsible for leading, developing, and supervising a department of 15 instructors and four administrative personnel. In this role, he developed and implemented the first-ever majors program in law at the Military Academy; developed, coordinated, and implemented a comprehensive education and training program in the Law of Armed Conflict; instituted an annual Conference on Law and Terrorism that included nationally and internationally renowned guest speakers and instructors; revised and reorganized the faculty structure of the department; increased the interdisciplinary work of the law faculty, including instruction in conjunction with five other academic departments; and built a tremendous team that, by every measure in the Annual Command Climate Survey "from teamwork to job satisfaction to morale" was the top academic department at West Point.
In his first position at West Point, in 1998-99, he was staff judge advocate/general (JAG) counsel, serving as principal legal adviser to the superintendent, the dean, and the staff and faculty. His involvement with campus activities at West Point earned him the nickname the "People's Dean."
Finnegan served JAG Corps tours at Bad Kreuznach, Germany (1979-82); the Judge Advocate General's School, Charlottesville, Va. (1983-87); Fort Bragg, N.C. (1988-93); MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. (1994-96); and Stuttgart, Germany (1996-98). He served as Staff Judge Advocate at West Point from August 1998 until he was appointed as Professor and Head of the Department of Law in July 1999. Prior to his appointment as Dean, Finnegan also served as head officer representative for the Army football team. During his time at Fort Bragg, Finnegan was deployed to the Persian Gulf to participate in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Finnegan's awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal (two oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (two oak leaf clusters), Humanitarian Service Medal, Saudi Arabia/Kuwait Liberation Medal and Defense Meritorious Unit Award (oak leaf cluster).
He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and has also been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
His presentations include "The Sixtieth Anniversary of the Geneva Conventions: Lessons Learned for the United States," address at the Library of Congress (December 2009); "The Global War on Terror and Beyond," address to the 65th Infantry Division Reunion, West Point, N.Y. (August 2009); "The U.S. Military and the Law of Armed Conflict, Including a Perspective on Torture," keynote address, Exploring Humanitarian Law Summer Institute, American Red Cross, Washington, D.C. (July 2009); "Teaching and Developing Leaders," address to the U.S. Commerce Department executive leaders, Washington D.C., (December 2008); "The Rule of Law, the Military, and Torture," address at Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg, Germany, (November 2008); and "The Presidential Election and the United States Military," address at Eton College, London, England, (November 2008); and many more.
Finnegan and his wife, Joan, have two daughters: Katie Finnegan Rucker and Jenna Finnegan Bechen; and four grandchildren.