Old Dominion University Selects Sarah Jane Kirkland as Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships

Sarah Jane Kirkland

Sarah Jane Kirkland has been selected as ODU Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships.
Sarah Jane Kirkland has been selected as ODU Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships.

NORFOLK, VA, Dec. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Old Dominion University has selected Sarah Jane Kirkland to serve as the Associate Vice President for Corporate Partnerships effective March 1, 2023.

Through a close collaboration between the Office of the President and the Office of Research, Kirkland’s work will be focused on initiating and cultivating relationships with senior executives at corporations and nonprofits to develop partnership opportunities, such as internships, apprenticeships, clinical rotations and employment placements; part-time teaching by executives; curricular co-development of adult learning opportunities and certificate programs; degree-completion initiatives; corporate grants for research and development; and workforce development initiatives.

Kirkland will also represent the University on a variety of economic development, workforce, professional association and other boards, while also serving as the University’s point of contact to help attract new businesses in locating to Hampton Roads, as well as retaining current companies in the region. She will design and oversee an institutional-wide partnership council to coordinate corporate account management across all campus entities, contribute to the development of proposals and steward significant relationships.

ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., said, “Sarah Jane is well-known and highly respected in Hampton Roads, especially among business and industry leaders. For many years, she has been fully dedicated to creating connections and producing results that both benefit and transform our region as part of her exemplary efforts with the CIVIC Leadership Institute. I am thrilled that she will continue her leadership and service journey at Old Dominion, and I know that she will bring a great deal of energy and expertise to her work as a Monarch.”

Vice President for Research Morris Foster, Ph.D., added, “I look forward to Sarah Jane’s many contributions as she engages with the Office of Research team and members of the campus community to strengthen existing partnerships and create new ones that benefit our students, faculty and staff, as well as our researchers and the community.”

The search was chaired by Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center (VMASC) Executive Director and Associate Vice President for Applied Research Eric Weisel, Ph.D. In addition to sharing his appreciation for members of the Search Committee, Dr. Weisel said, “Sarah Jane will be a tremendous asset to Old Dominion University. With deep and meaningful connections on our campus, in our communities and across the commonwealth, she has direct experience with our institution and critical knowledge of the region’s current initiatives and future work.”

With a strong background in business development and community outreach, Kirkland has served the CIVIC Leadership Institute from 2019 through the present as President and Chief Executive Officer; 2016 through 2019 as Chief Operating Officer; and 2013 through 2016 as Director of Alumni Engagement; as well as 2003 through 2005 as Program Manager. She also has extensive experience with Carnival Cruise Line, including nearly a decade as a Business Development Director.

In addition to Kirkland’s integral work with the CIVIC Leadership Institute, she has represented the region and served the community on many boards and committees, such as RVA757 Connects, YMCA South Hampton Roads, Hampton Roads Regional Transit Advisory Panel (RTAP), 757 Recovery and Resilience Action Framework, Town Point Club and the Governor’s School for the Arts. Additionally, she has received accolades and recognition for her advocacy and leadership, including the 2021 Inside Business “Women in Business” award and the 2022 Inside Business “Power Players” list.

In being selected for the position, Kirkland said, “As President and CEO of the region’s premier leadership organization, the CIVIC Leadership Institute, I have been privileged to develop partnerships across seemingly disparate facets of our community. Due to this work, I have been uniquely positioned to bring leaders together with the common goal of affecting real change in Hampton Roads. I am honored to have an opportunity to continue this great work at Old Dominion University under the visionary leadership of President Hemphill and in close collaboration with fellow Monarchs.”


  • Sarah Jane Kirkland
CONTACT: Amber Kennedy Old Dominion University 757-683-3278 [email protected] 

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