Prof. Rhiney revives campus role

Professor Sean Rhiney has been selected for government relations position

By Emily Croft, Staff Writer

Sean Rhiney, a current professor in the Philosophy, Politics and Public (PPP) program and director of the Eigel Center, has been chosen to become Xavier’s new government relations director.

Xavier’s government relations director plays a role in representing the University regarding government policy on the local, state and federal levels. 

Rhiney officially began his role on Monday but continues to aid in the transition out of the Eigel Center as it looks for a new director.

Photo courtesy of Greg Rust/Xavier University.
Xavier PPP Professor Sean Rhiney has been selected to serve as the latest government director for Xavier University.

In addition to this new role, Rhiney will gain increased responsibilities within the PPP program. This will include teaching sophomore-level PPP courses and heading student workshops and trips. 

Dr. Timothy Brownlee, director of PPP, highlighted some of the strengths Rhiney has for the position. 

“He knows and understands what the program is about and what our students need, and he’s developed unique opportunities for our sophomore-year students,” Brownlee said. 

Rhiney is not new to the PPP program and knows his way around political and law-centered classrooms. Prior to coming to Xavier, Rhiney was an academic director focusing on government and public interest law and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. 

There, he began to meet students who had been PPP majors at Xavier for undergraduate work. 

“They were so inquisitive and professional, and I thought to myself, ‘What is this major that didn’t exist when I was there?’” Rhiney said.

Within his Xavier teaching career, Rhiney has already played an important role in the PPP students’ sophomore year, when students pick between the law or campaign blocks to participate in for the year. 

Rhiney has taught on the law side of the program for the last three years and has created several new initiatives for the students. 

Photo courtesy of Greg Rust/Xavier University.
Rhiney is a graduate of Xavier University. Prior to working at Xavier, earned his law degree from Northern Kentucky University.

“I couldn’t imagine a better set of new opportunities for our students than the ones that he’s developed through the Civil Society and Government course,” Brownlee said.

Looking forward to the PPP program, Rhiney anticipates ways to continue to better the program with its internship opportunities. 

“We want all students in PPP spending time doing things that help them discern what’s next but in spots all over the country,” he said.

In his new role, Rhiney will also cover alumni relations. 

“It’s not just the PPP program that I get to be a part of that’s so wonderful, but it’s the opportunity to elevate and support our colleges and the faculty that guide those efforts,” Rhiney stated.

Going into this position, Rhiney is eager to get to work with students, faculty and alumni of the Xavier community. He continued to marvel at how “the ethos of social justice runs across all programs here at Xavier.” 

Once a Musketeer himself, Rhiney is excited to see the changes that have occurred on campus and in the culture. 

“What’s next for Xavier is very important and how we cement this national reputation we’ve cultivated,” Rhiney said.