Tuesday November 8, 2016

Leading the Way

For the second time this year, the University of Dayton's presidential transition received positive notice in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Clara M. Lovett, president emerita of Northern Arizona University, highlighted the orderly way University leaders managed the transition between past President Daniel J. Curran and current President Eric F. Spina as uncommon and an example of how such transitions should be handled. 

"
The University of Dayton’s transition was not just civilized and orderly: It was planned. Dayton’s trustees did not leave the stage after choosing the new CEO and wishing him good luck. They remained engaged to ensure that, to the greatest possible extent, the new appointee would be well prepared for his role on Day 1. The role required understanding the goals of the governing board for the institution and a commitment to meet those goals…Dayton’s trustees, it appears, practiced their fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience in a way that is uncommon in the governance of higher education," Lovett wrote. 

Lovett's commentary was posted online Nov. 6 and will be published in the Nov. 11, 2016 print edition. You can read it here. 

Spina took over from Curran in July — 10 months after his selection was announced in September, 2015. 


In May, Spina and Curran sat down for a video interview with Chronicle reporter Jack Stripling to talk about the transition process: 
University of Dayton Stretches Out Presidential Transition.

In that interview, Spina said the transition helped him understand an important characteristic of the University:

"And I think one of the nice things about the University of Dayton that I learned very quickly – and about the Marianists, the [university's] founding order, and about Dan – is really kind of a selfless leadership that I think is sometimes lacking. I think too many presidents, as they enter a position, are thinking about the institution in a frame that's around them rather than a frame around the institution. The University of Dayton's been around for a long time. It'll be around for a long time after me."

 

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