Friday September 1, 2006

Through 2012

The University of Dayton's board of trustees has renewed President Daniel J. Curran's contract through 2012. Trustees praise growth in academic programs, facilities and national reputation.

The University of Dayton's board of trustees has renewed UD President Daniel J. Curran's contract through 2012.

The first lay president in the University's 156-year history, Curran is guiding Ohio's largest private university and one of the nation's 10 best Catholic universities through transformational times while preserving its historic mission and religious identity, according to Daniel Sadlier, chair of UD's board of trustees.

"He's embraced the Marianist tradition and built upon it, garnering the respect of the campus community, the Marianists and the Dayton community," said Sadlier, who led a campus-wide evaluation process with a higher education consultant. "He's facilitated growth in facilities, academic programs and national reputation. We're excited about the leadership he provides."

The Philadelphia native became the University of Dayton's 18th president on July 1, 2002.

"I'm committed to service and justice. The University of Dayton is a great fit for me," Curran said. "When I read the history of the Marianists, I was impressed with their ability to be forward-thinking people, to read the signs of the times. My challenge is to effectively read the signs of the times and make decisions that will help make the University of Dayton an even greater institution."

A master plan, currently under way, will shape development on a campus that now spans beyond the Great Miami River. A new strategic plan will focus on strengthening the school's distinct Catholic and Marianist identity, diversifying the student body, internationalizing the curriculum, hiring more nationally prominent faculty and building upon a learning-living environment that supports academic excellence.

UD has experienced strong momentum under Curran's leadership. Consider:

  • record applications for the first-year class and record sponsored research for four straight years;
  • purchase of property from NCR, boosting the size of campus by nearly a quarter;
  • new exchange programs with universities in China;
  • new centers of excellence in nanotechnology and fuels and combustion;
  • renovation of academic buildings and new modern student facilities, including the construction of two facilities that combine learning and living -- Marianist Hall, a residence hall with learning spaces, and ArtStreet, a housing and arts education complex. RecPlex, a fitness and recreation complex, opened in January, and the sports complex now includes the Time Warner Cable baseball stadium and a softball stadium on the banks of the Great Miami River;
  • curricular initiatives including the nation's first accelerated law curriculum, an MBA-ready program for engineering students, a doctor of physical therapy program supported, in part, by the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, and a new requirement that all first-year students live in "learning-living communities" tied to their major or interest.
  • opening of the Dayton Early College Academy, a Dayton Public Schools high school on campus that prepares first-generation college students to earn a high school diploma and college credits at the same time; and
  • economic development partnerships, such as University Place (a two-story mixed-use development on the corner of Brown and Stewart streets that will include graduate student apartments and retail) and Courtyard by the Marriott, a soon-to-open hotel near UD Arena. It's believed to be the first hotel construction in the city of Dayton in two decades.

In the Dayton region, Curran focuses on economic development and high-tech issues. He chairs the Wright Brothers Institute board and serves on nearly two dozen others. Nationally, as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I board of directors, Curran helped shape academic reforms designed to improve the graduation rate of student-athletes. UD is a national leader in the academic performance of its student-athletes. It is one of 10 schools in the country that can boast of a graduation rate of at least 85 percent in men's basketball.

"Dr. Curran brought a fresh set of eyes and a great deal of energy to the University of Dayton," said Fred Pestello, provost and senior vice president for educational affairs. "He came with a strong commitment to Catholic higher education and quickly grasped UD's Marianist approach to educating the whole person -- the head and the heart. Since Dan assumed the presidency four years ago, the campus has enjoyed success on almost every measure. He is an approachable leader who truly cares about the faculty, staff and students."

Vicki Giambrone, outgoing president of the National Alumni Association and a former trustee, also endorsed the direction UD is taking. "Under his leadership, the University has experienced strategic growth in distinctive ways. He expanded the physical campus and added key academic programs that are enhancing UD's academic reputation."

Paul Marshall, rector, echoed the trustees' assessment of Curran's deep appreciation for UD's religious heritage: "He's a great builder of community and a man of faith. He promotes the Marianist charism by living it."

For more information, contact Teri Rizvi at 937-229-3255 or rizvi@udayton.edu.