Kelly, 53, said he told his faculty last year that he was looking for another opportunity in higher education as an academic administrator. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the presidency of the UM at Baltimore last December, a job that was given to UMAB Dental School dean Errol L. Reese.
"I've been dean for 17 years and I finally decided what I wanted to do when I grow up and that is to be an academic administrator," Kelly said. "I want to take on something larger in scope than one school."
At Georgetown, Kelly will help President Leo J. O'Donovan run the daily operations of the Washington liberal arts university, which enrolls 12,000 students.
At the UM law school, Kelly built the institution in size and "intellectual" strength, he said. During his tenure the faculty ranks grew from 30 to 50, enrolling 750 students this year.
He also installed a mandatory student public service program, a unique program where students represent indigent clients in their first and second years of law school.
Kelly has been at UM since 1972 and in 1980 served for one year as chancellor of UMAB.