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Duquesne Society News - One-on-One with Duquesne Leaders

David Dausey

Though David Dausey only recently began his tenure as Provost on July 1, 2018, he is already making an impact within the Duquesne community as a new academic year begins.

What excites you most about joining Duquesne at this time?

Duquesne is at a unique and exciting time in its history. It is one of only 12 nationally ranked, tier-one Catholic universities in the country. Out of the thousands of universities in the United States, Duquesne is currently ranked 120th by U.S. News and World Report. It has achieved this well-deserved prominence through the talent and energies of the many faculty and staff dedicated to our mission to serve God by serving our students. The university's strategic plan sets out ambitious goals to rethink our approaches to teaching and learning to reach a new generation of students. I'm excited to join Duquesne at this time because I think it is poised to grow its reputation as a national leader of Catholic higher education and become a national model for teaching and learning in America. I look forward to working with faculty, staff, students and alumni to see this happen.

As an internationally recognized epidemiologist, you have worked closely with groups such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations, the Global Health and Security Initiative and the Rockefeller Foundation. What drew you to pursue that field?

As an undergraduate student, I learned how central good health is to having a happy and productive life. I became fascinated with studying and understanding the factors that were predictive of good health. I also learned about tremendous health disparities around the world and wanted to choose a field that allowed me to reduce them. Epidemiology fulfilled these interests by letting me study the determinants of disease while developing strategies to improve the health of populations. Along the way, I worked on the ground in more than 20 countries with a host of agencies and organizations focused on improving the health and lives of people around the world. This work gave me a broad appreciation for the global village in which we all live and the power of diversity to help us solve social problems and achieve societal goals.

What academic developments at Duquesne are you most excited about?

Duquesne is blessed with a talented and dedicated faculty in a wide-range of disciplines stretched across nine different schools. I'm excited about the opportunity to work with faculty to develop a vision for academics at Duquesne based on Spiritan values and ethics and focused on the new economy. Our collective task is to do more than just keep our curriculum relevant- instead we must think broadly and creatively about the world that the next generation of students will live in after they graduate. We have to re-envision academics to include new approaches to teaching and learning while at the same time respecting our heritage and traditions. Duquesne is well poised to take up this task, and I'm excited to be part of it.

You met many Duquesne Society members at the Spring Recognition Day on campus. How do you hope to continue to build connections with alumni and benefactors in your role?

Alumni are the manifestation of our mission and carry forward the Spiritan ethos in their daily personal and professional lives. Our benefactors (many of whom are alumni) provide us with the resources we need to fulfill our mission and provide our students with the best academic experience possible. Our job is to give our alumni and benefactors a vision for the Duquesne of the future and to give them a role in helping us to build that future. Central to this is engaging alumni and benefactors in what we do and making them excited about the road ahead.