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In May 2011, Dr. Keith Taylor was appointed the seventh president of Gannon University, a Catholic, Diocesan, comprehensive university founded in 1925 by Archbishop John Mark Gannon. Gannon University offers three doctoral, 18 master’s, 55 bachelor’s and eight associate degree programs. As the University’s previous provost and vice president for academic affairs, Taylor was instrumental in reorganizing Gannon’s academic structure to a more integrated three-college model; adding two new doctoral-level and six new bachelor’s degree programs; broadening the focus on a global campus perspective; and instituting the Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) program. He is noted for his commitment to students, service to the community and building cultural and global awareness. Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, a master’s degree in exercise science and a doctoral degree in anatomy and cell biology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has given numerous scholarly presentations and has several peer-reviewed journal publications.
While Taylor served as Gannon’s provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2005-2011, Taylor bolstered efforts to support student achievement through the creation of Gannon’s Student Success Center, funded in part by the University’s first TRIO Student Support Services grant. He has been instrumental in procuring funding for the University by spearheading the establishment of an Academic Grants Office, leading to more than $6 million in support from the government, corporations and foundations. Funding from the Council for Opportunity in Education, along with the GE Foundation, led to the creation of a new, comprehensive student-mentoring program that partners Gannon University and the Erie School District. Taylor helped secure Gannon’s first funding from the National Science Foundation, which supports scholarships for students interested in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math). Taylor has also made headway in reaffirming Gannon’s commitment to social justice and Catholic social teaching in support of the local community through the Erie-GAINS project. The initiative represents a series of strategic partnerships with government agencies, businesses and community organizations to revitalize the neighborhoods surrounding Gannon’s campus.
This work is central to his dedication to Catholic higher education and his fervent personal commitment to serving the local and international community. Since joining Gannon University, his volunteer work includes serving as a board member for the Boys & Girls Club of Erie, chair of the academic services committee of Rethink Erie, board member of the Cooperative for Innovation and Commercialization and the Keystone Innovation Zone Council and board president for the Collegiate Academic Crew Association.
Prior to his work at Gannon, Taylor served as academic dean of health and human services at Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y. from 1988-2005, as well as the vice president for academic affairs for instructional technology and liberal learning and as a full professor and chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy.