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Extending Success

In recognition of his success in moving the University forward, the University of Dayton Board of Trustees has approved a new five-year contract for President Eric F. Spina that will extend his term as president to eight years through June 2024.

"The new contract reflects the confidence the board has in Eric for the job that he has done," Board Chair David Yeager said of Spina, who became president July 1, 2016. "As the current contract runs through next June, he could be in very high demand by other institutions."

Yeager said the board is extremely pleased by Spina's high energy, leadership and engagement, as well as the leadership team he has assembled.  

"We were very impressed with how quickly he assimilated into the role. It usually takes time to gain momentum, but he never walked, he ran," Yeager said, citing the broad-based process Spina launched during his first year to create an ambitious strategic vision for UD's next 20 years. "His level of engagement with alumni has been extraordinary and he and his wife Karen have been embraced by the Dayton community."

The Rev. Oscar Vasquez, S.M., provincial for the Society of Mary in the United States and first vice chair of the University board, said: "On behalf of the Marianists, I’m so happy that the Board of Trustees has moved forward on extending Dr. Eric Spina’s contract. His commitment to continuing the Catholic, Marianist mission is so important to the future of UD."

Other University achievements during Spina's first term include:

  • Increased emphasis on access and affordability for all students, resulting in record socioeconomic, racial and ethnic diversity of entering students and record total undergraduate enrollment
  • A 12 percent increase in faculty hiring since 2015
  • A major University-wide initiative to increase diversity and inclusion at all levels  including trustees, faculty, staff and students
  • An updated University brand and identity to anchor a new national reputation campaign
  • Investments in the advancement division to strengthen long-term engagement of alumni and donors, resulting in two record years of fundraising
  • A partnership with Premier Health to purchase and redevelop the former Montgomery County fairgrounds into onMain, an innovative new near-downtown district
  • A commitment to anchor the redevelopment of the historic Dayton Arcade by establishing an entrepreneurial learning hub
  • A multi-year project to modernize UD's financial management systems and infrastructure
  • Increased visibility for the University through efforts including joining the American Talent Initiative and hosting a statewide debate
  • New investments in sustainability and energy efficiency, including UD's first major solar arrays

"The foundation of this University is an incredible campus community focused on student learning, and I am grateful each day to work with such an excellent team,” Spina said. "I am honored by the trustees' confidence, as well as excited about UD's accelerating growth and momentum.

"Our amazing students, the board, senior leadership, faculty, staff and our Marianist brothers and sisters are all dedicated to living the University's mission to learn, lead and serve in service to the common good. Karen and I are thrilled to be in Dayton and are deeply committed to this special University, which we are proud to call home."

Only the University's second lay leader since it was founded in 1850, Spina previously served Syracuse University for 28 years, including nearly nine as vice chancellor and provost.


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