Raymond Arke | News Editor
As Duquesne plans for their new era laid out in the strategic plan, the campus welcomed a new face to the role of provost and vice president of academic affairs. In a surprise ceremony on Feb. 1, President Ken Gormley announced the end to a five-month search by introducing David Dausey to the Duquesne community.
Dausey, the provost and executive vice president at Mercyhurst University and a national public health expert, was introduced by Gormley as a “consensus” pick from the search committee.
“[Dausey] is deeply committed to the Catholic Spiritan tradition … has a deep appreciation to diversity …[and] is a true scholar,” Gormley said.
He also praised Dausey for believing in community engagement and for his “passion to advance our strategic plan.”
Gormley noted that Dausey was the only candidate who did not apply to any other institution. Since Dausey was born and raised in Pittsburgh, this job offered a homecoming.
“He couldn’t pass it up,” Gormley said.
After Gormley’s introduction, Dausey took the stage, to much applause, thanking the Duquesne community for a “warm and gracious welcome.”
“I will strive to be worthy of the confidence you gave to me,” he said.
Dausey explained the job offered a “tremendous opportunity,” to come back to Pittsburgh and “finally root for the best baseball, football and hockey teams in the country.”
He said that being chosen for the role of provost was “humbling,” and praised Duquesne as a “national model for Catholic education.”
“You have nine schools that shape and define entire fields,” Dausey said. “[You have] 93,000 alumni who are changing the world for the better.”
He added that he enters the position at a critical time for colleges and universities.
“Higher education in America is going through an existential crisis,” Dausey said. “[With] an increasing skeptical public … no wonder we see colleges and universities in peril.”
However, Dausey said he looked forward to the task.
“These are challenging times, but they present opportunities,” he said. “Duquesne is uniquely poised to educate the leaders of tomorrow.”
After quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dausey offered a challenge to Duquesne.
“We have all followed the trail left by the Spiritans … [Now] we forge a path ahead that does not follow, but leads higher education in America,” he said. “It is my desire to explore, dream and discover.”
A press release from Duquesne highlighted Dausey’s background in public health. He received his bachelor’s in psychology from Mercyhurst and a master’s and a doctorate in epidemiology and public health from Yale University. Prior to working as an administrator at Mercyhurst, Dausey worked for the RAND Corporation’s Global Health Division, served as the senior director of health programs and initiatives and was a professor of health policy and management at Carnegie Mellon University.
He joined Mercyhurst in 2011 and served as their director of the Institute of Public Health. In 2013, he was named the dean of Mercyhurst’s School of Health Professions and Public Health. Dausey was named Mercyhurst’s provost in 2015, according to the press release.
John McGinley, the chairman of Duquesne’s board of directors, also welcomed Dausey. After joking that he wished he had brought a Duquesne ‘D’ baseball hat to hand over like the NFL Draft, McGinley expressed his praise.
“I think we got a first draft choice,” he said.
McGinley also thanked the selection committee for their hard work.
“This process was a serious process because it means so much,” he said. “We got a wonderful candidate and a wonderful provost.”
The event was not without praise for Tim Austin’s job as provost, a position he has held since 2013.
“Austin has done a phenomenal job,” he said. “[Duquesne] was extremely fortunate to have someone as talented as Tim to serve as Provost … hard to replace him.”
McGinley shared the same appreciation for Austin.
“[Austin] was a voice of reason, a calming presence,” he said.
Mary Ellen Glasgow, dean of the School of Nursing, was the chair of the provost search committee. She said that the committee began work in September 2017. The committee consisted of a wide variety of professors and administrators, including Jeffery Mallory of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Olivia Erickson, SGA President, Janie Harden Fritz, professor of communication, among many others.
“We’re actually going to miss each other,” she said.
Austin will retire in the summer, and Dausey will take the reins effective July 1, 2018.