New man on campus


New University of Detroit Mercy President Dr. Donald Taylor has wasted no time getting to know students and faculty during the first few weeks of the school year.

Taylor, who took over the school’s top job in July, made the rounds introducing himself during move-in day last month and hosted a few ice cream socials with his wife, Lechia, on the McNichols campus with plans for similar events at the Corktown and Riverfront campuses. Those who spoke to The Varsity News said they appreciate his efforts to get to know the student body.

Kieli Phillips, a freshman, met Taylor during move-in day, saying that he seemed excited to be there and was easy to talk to.

“He spoke to everyone, and looked happy to be around us,” she said.

Taylor previously served as president of Cabrini University in Pennsylvania and was known around campus as “DT.” Taylor was named Detroit Mercy’s next president last February and since then he says he’s been on a “listening tour” to get to know the university.

“I’m learning,” Taylor told the school’s Spiritus magazine in March. “You’ve got to really learn about the culture of the institution before you can lead it.”

Mary-Catherine Harrison, an associate professor and chair of the Department of English, had the op- portunity to speak to Taylor as well.

“I am excited that President Tay- lor prioritizes listening to different stakeholders on campus,” she said. “He understands that we are a unique institution in the city of Detroit, and we can build on our many strengths. He is invested in the financial health of the university, and its growth in strategic areas.”

Brooke Bright, a junior nursing major, also met Taylor during move- in day.

“He had a nice suit, and he seemed genuine,” he said.

Tommie Smith, the student suc- cess coach of the REBUILD Detroit program here at Detroit Mercy, met him a couple times passing through the ice cream socials held on campus in recent weeks.

“I saw that he was confident and that he certainly looked the part as far as the way he spoke, dressed and behaved,” Smith said. “He seemed to have a modern, sort of up-to-date vi- sion about how to run things and cer- tainly has the background to become a great leader of the university.”