Dick Ferguson

Executive Director, Fitz Center for Leadership in Community
College of Arts and Sciences: Fitz Center


Dick Ferguson has held several major administrative positions in 30 years at the University of Dayton. He began his professional career in 1973 as an Admission Counselor. He held various positions on the Undergraduate Admission staff from 1973 until 1978, concentrating on the development of recruitment publications, audiovisual presentations, and communication systems, finishing as Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission.

In 1978, Dick became Director of University Communications (Public Relations) of the University of Dayton. He directed this staff for seven years through the introduction of a new president, most of a successful $43 million fund raising campaign, and resulting changes in UD's programs and reputation as a major Catholic university and Ohio education resource.

From 1985 until 1988, Dick served as Assistant Dean and Director of Admission and Financial Aid of the University of Dayton School of Law. In that role, he developed effective student recruitment, admission, scholarship, financial aid, retention, and enrollment management operations. He also introduced an alumni annual support program.

In 1988, Dick became Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and, a year later, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management. In this role, he directed the University's undergraduate student recruitment, admission, scholarship, and financial aid efforts. He also became a member of the University's senior academic administrative team. Dick served as Associate Provost until 1992.

Following a one-year program of study at The Ohio State University School of Public Policy and Management beginning in 1992, Dick became Assistant to the President for Regional and Government Relations at the University of Dayton. Besides his routine community and government relations responsibilities, Dick served as lead staff and final report writer for the Montgomery County Child Protection Task Force, coordinated the Montgomery County Science Day, assisted with planning of the Dayton Area Graduate Studies Institute for advanced engineering education, formed the Serve With Energy and Talent (SWEAT) collaborative and corporation -- one of Ohio's first AmeriCorps national service programs, and facilitated creation of the Montgomery County Family and Children First Council.

Dick led the University's community partnership initiatives and, in October 1998, was named Director of the Institute for Neighborhood and Community Leadership (INCLUD). In July 2001, INCLUD and the Center for Family and Community Research merged to form the Center for Leadership in Community, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dick was named Director of the new Center and Special Assistant to the President. The following year, the Center was renamed in honor of Brother Ray Fitz as he completed his 23-year tenure as President of the University of Dayton. Dick began full-time service as Director of the Fitz Center.

In the Dayton community, Dick currently serves on the City of Dayton's Rubicon Park Master Plan Land Use Committee, the Leadership Dayton Curriculum Review Committee, United Way Public Policy Committee, East End Community Services Board of Trustees, Advisory Board of the Montgomery County Community Action Program, Genesis Investment Board, League of Women Voters Community Advisory Board, Out-of-School Youth Fast Forward Center Advisory Board, Daybreak Runaway Shelter Board of Trustees, Emergency Food Bank Transition Committee, Salem Avenue Corridor Committee, World of Wonder Accelerated Learning Community School Governing Board, Dayton Dialogue on Race Steering Committee, Artemis Center Peacekeepers Committee, the Catholic Fund for Urban Children and Schools Board of Directors, and Good Samaritan Hospital and Samaritan Health Partners Boards of Trustees. He also currently teaches for the Department of Political Science.

Dick is a 1973 graduate of the University of Dayton and a 1993 graduate of The Ohio State University School of Public Policy and Management. His wife, Susan, is a school psychologist and administrative faculty in the UD School of Education and Health Sciences. The Fergusons live in Beavercreek, Ohio, and have three sons: Mark, David, and A.J.

The Staff Perspective

The best moments of my career have been those shared with the undergraduate or graduate students I have mentored. It is a very special privilege to participate in the education of those who will lead our communities well into the 21st century. My hope is that they will all be leaders that build community - wherever they are.