President

  • About the President

    In May 2011, Keith Taylor, Ph.D. was appointed the seventh president of Gannon University, a Catholic, diocesan, comprehensive university founded in 1925 by Archbishop John Mark Gannon. Gannon University offers four doctoral, 23 master's, 54 bachelor's and eight associate degree programs. Taylor served as Gannon's provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2005-2011. During his tenure, he has established a dynamic strategic vision and integrated planning and operations that has empowered the community to achieve great success across all dimensions of University work in their efforts to transform lives. His focus as provost has continued into his presidential leadership having reorganized Gannon's academic structure to a more integrated three-college model; created an growing satellite campus in Ruskin, FL; added new strategic academic programs to meet current and future market needs; broadened the community focus to a global perspective; and instituted the Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) and OWB (Our West Bayfront) neighborhood revitalization programs. He is noted for his open, strategic leadership style and 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 30 years of experience as a faculty member, scholar, and leader at all levels of higher education.

    Gannon's Vision 2020 comprehensive campaign culminated in 2016 with of over $67 million raised to support a spectrum of critical needs; in particular scholarship funds to ensure student access to the Gannon learning experience and academic and support programs to enhance the quality of that learning and life experience. Over $135 million in major capital improvements have been completed during the past decade in Erie and Ruskin including construction and transformation of 7 academic buildings, the Nash Library, and new residential North Hall and Wellness Center and Fieldhouse. These facility and program enhancements have transformed the campus and allowed the community to make great strides to bolster efforts to support student learning and achievement. The faculty and staff focus on engagement, retention and student success has resulted in a 5% increase in freshmen student retention rates in just the past few years. Gannon's commitment to access and affordability to a growing diverse student population is reflected in the additional academic, personal and career advising and resources offered to first-generation, low income and disabled students bolstered by the burgeoning success in extramural funding since the establishment of the Office of Grants and Sponsored Projects as well as the Student Success Center. The faculty and staff have secured millions of dollars in annual funding including Gannon's first successful National Science Foundation grants.

    Taylor has also reaffirmed Gannon's commitment to social justice and Catholic social teaching with ardent support for the Center for Social Concerns and Mission and Ministry efforts. The Erie-GAINS and OWB initiatives began under Taylor's leadership and represent a series of intentional 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 global communities. He travels extensively, both in providing service to those in need as well as in developing global partnerships and opportunities for Gannon's students and faculty to learn and serve throughout the world. Since joining Gannon University, his regional volunteer work includes serving as a current member and previous chair of the Board of Directors for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, a member of the boards of UPMC Hamot Medical Center, United Way of Erie County, Erie Downtown Development Corporation Board and Executive Committee, Erie Downtown Partnership, Erie Technology Incubator, and Pennsylvania State Athletic Association, and an outgoing member of the Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (AICUP), and Pennsylvania Campus Compact boards.

    Prior to his work at Gannon, Taylor served Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y. from 1988-2005 as a full professor, academic dean of health and human services, chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy, as well as the assistant to the vice president for academic affairs for instructional technology and liberal learning.