OCCHS grad named provost at Benedictine University
The Messenger 05.21.08
Donald B. Taylor, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., has been named the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, according to Benedictine President William J. Carroll.
Taylor, a 1982 graduate of Obion County Central High School in Troy, is the son of the late James W. Taylor of Union City.
He and his wife, Lechia, have a son and live in Sycamore, Ill.
“I am excited by the opportunity to lead our faculty who are strongly committed to excellence in liberal arts and science, graduate and professional education,” Taylor said. “I care deeply about Benedictine University, our students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“I look forward to working with the community to help Benedictine maximize its incredible potential,” he added.
Carroll served as acting provost during an eight-month period in which a committee of faculty, administrators and board members conducted the search to replace Daniel Julius, Ph.D., who left the university to assume the duties of vice president for academic affairs for the University of Alaska’s 16-campus system.
“Dr. Taylor brings energy, dedication and a sincere and honest concern for Benedictine to this position,” Carroll said. “Throughout his 16 years at Benedictine, first as a faculty member and most recently as dean, he has exhibited the utmost desire to help the university, its faculty, staff and students achieve their potential.
“There is no better individual to guide Benedictine University’s academic programs,” Carroll added. “Dr. Taylor’s integrity, leadership and passion will serve Benedictine well now and into the future.”
Taylor earned a bachelor of science degree in secondary education and a doctorate in cell and molecular biology from the former Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis. He began his tenure at Benedictine University, then Illinois Benedictine College, in 1992 as an assistant professor and coordinator of the molecular biology program.
In 1995, Taylor was promoted to associate professor and two years later was named the William M. Scholl Endowed Professor in Health Sciences. Taylor was named a full professor in 2000, served as chair of the Department of Biology from 2002-05 and was named dean of the College of Science in 2005.
“I strongly ascribe to the notion that a key role of the provost is to secure the necessary resources to hire, mentor, evaluate and promote the highest quality faculty possible,” Taylor said. “Our students deserve nothing less. I also believe strongly in securing the necessary resources to move our academic programs to a higher level.
“I believe in being innovative and taking measured risks for the achievement of academic success,” he added. “We must empower faculty, staff and students to strive to continue to enhance the quality of education and not rest on our laurels.”
Taylor will assume his new duties June 1, according to Carroll.
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