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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. 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 an extensive
record of scholarly presentations and peer-reviewed publications.
While he 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, which houses a Student Support Services grant initially sought by Taylor in 2010 and continually funded for years to follow to provide additional academic, personal and career advising and resources to first-generation, low income and disabled students. 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 government,
corporations and foundations this past year. 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 reaffirmed 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
neighborhood 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 chair of the Board of
Directors for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, a member of the
Association of Independent Colleges & Universities (AICUP) Board of
Directors, a board member of the Erie Downtown Partnership and the Erie
Technology Incubator, and a corporator of United Way of Erie County and Hamot
Health Foundation. He has also served as a board member of the Boys and Girls
Club of Erie, the Cooperative for Innovation and Commercialization and the
Keystone Innovation Zone Council. He has traveled 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
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.
He enjoys his life
journey with his wife Mary Jean Taylor, and four children Abigail, Kaitlyn,
Samantha and Timothy.