UDM mainstay Diane Praet readies for her retirement

The Detroit Mercy community will soon be without one of its longest tenured employees. Diane Praet has worked at the university since 1978, holding roles that included university registrar and associate vice president. She will gradually be stepping away from her roles at the university and towards retirement.  

While campus will miss her dedication and oversight, she won’t be completely removed from the administrative offices just yet.  

“I don’t think I’ll go cold turkeyand totally retire,” Praet said. “I’m sure they’ll find a chance here to do contract work or consulting because it’s not fair to run away from 45 years and just say, ‘OK, it’s all you guys.’” 

The Michigan native got her start at the university as a database manager in 1978, the same year she got her undergraduate degree from the University of Detroit and has worked here ever since, while also earning an MBA from the school in 1980. She has held positions with the registrar, institutional research office and the admissions offices. She serves on the athletic board and 12 committees.  

She is also not the only one of her family to be a Titan, as almost all of her family, including her children outside of a few that attended other institutions, were students of UDM. Her father was also a mechanical engineering professor at the university. Her son, who graduated with a communication studies degree, was even a player on the men’s basketball team.  

Praet is excited for the prospect of seeing her children and grandchildren a lot more after a long tenured career full of dedicated hours focused on the integration of many different crucial systems that make the university run at all levels. Her value in this role is not unnoticed by her other administrators either as university Provost Pamela Zarkowski spoke very kindly towards her work toward the school.  

“Diane Praet sets the gold standard as an Associate Vice President and Registrar,” Zarkowski said. “Throughout her career at Detroit Mercy, she has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the University, students and faculty that she serves. She gives 100% in all that she does.”  

Praet’s tenure saw the university take multiple shapes and forms but something she especially loves to see advanced is the university’s curriculum.  

 “I love that our faculty continue to develop the curriculum they have to stay ahead so that you can be ahead,” Praet said.