Thursday April 21, 2016

Paul Benson Named Provost

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran and President-designate Eric F. Spina announced today that Paul Benson, interim provost, will take on that role permanently effective July 2016.

"I have been impressed by Paul Benson’s character, humility and intelligence since the day I met him," said Spina. "His understanding of the University of Dayton and his modeling of our values and charism will serve me and the institution extremely well as I prepare to begin my presidency in July. I look forward to working with Paul to continue advancing the University."

Curran added: "Paul Benson has served the University with distinction in every role he has held. He is well-respected and admired by the campus community — faculty, staff, students, researchers, alumni and friends — and I am confident the University will continue its strong momentum through his leadership."

Benson's appointment to a four-year term was made in full consultation with the board of trustees as well as incoming president Spina, Curran said. 

Spina opted to search internally for the position, saying he sought a provost who was already familiar with the University’s history, people, culture and governance mechanisms.

As the University's chief academic officer, Benson's responsibilities include preserving, developing and promoting the academic mission and vision of the University, plus coordinating academic and research units and their support systems.

In addition to overseeing the five major academic units and the libraries, the provost has responsibility for enrollment management and marketing, information technology and international programs, and the position works closely with the president and vice president for finance on the University's strategic budget and facilities planning.

"I am deeply honored to continue to serve the University through the office of the provost," Benson said. "The provost plays a significant role in shaping the quality of our faculty, the academic experience of our students, the impact of our research and the opportunities for our deans to advance their academic units effectively. 

"UD has benefited from the leadership of a long series of talented and forward-thinking provosts. I hope I can sustain that legacy and continue to elevate the quality of our teaching, research, and local and global engagements while also extending the influence of our Catholic and Marianist mission."  

Vice President for Student Development Bill Fischer, chair of the search committee, described Benson as the "quintessential provost."

"It was clear to the committee that Dr. Benson exceeds all the academic and administrative qualifications of the position and, in addition, brings unique personal characteristics and leadership skills to his work," Fischer said. "He is widely admired for his collaborative style and inclusive approach. He conducts his work with the highest level of ethics and integrity and exemplifies true servant leadership.

"He has a deep appreciation for our Catholic and Marianist educational philosophy and effectively conveys how that philosophy is the foundation for all that we are and all that we aspire to be."

Benson came to the University of Dayton in 1985 to teach in the philosophy department and has held progressively higher leadership positions. He served as department chair from 2001-2004 and associate dean for integrated learning and curriculum from 2005-2007 before he was appointed dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2007.

He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, director of media relations, at 937-229-3257 or shindell@udayton.edu.

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