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Board Extends President’s Contract through 2016

The Duquesne University Board of Directors unanimously voted to extend President Charles Dougherty’s contract through 2016 at the annual October meeting today. The decision comes on the heels of the successful completion of the University’s first strategic plan, a five-year initiative that Dougherty spearheaded shortly after his appointment, and the public announcement of a $150 million capital campaign—the largest in Duquesne’s history.

“The Board of Directors is pleased with the growth at Duquesne under the leadership and vision of President Charles Dougherty,” said Board Chairman P. David Pappert. “We have realized improvements in all areas of University life and are eager to build on this momentum as President Dougherty leads Duquesne on a path of continued accomplishments benefiting our students.”

Duquesne was recently ranked in the top tier of national universities by U.S. News and World Report. During Dougherty’s tenure, the academic profile of Duquesne’s student body and admissions selectivity have increased dramatically. The average SAT score increased by 40 points, at the very same time that the University became far more selective by lowering its acceptance rate more than 20 percentage points. Simultaneously, Duquesne has had record-breaking freshman enrollment, with retention rates of nearly 90 percent—far exceeding the national average.

Dougherty has successfully led the effort to expand alumni outreach and build a comprehensive fund-raising program. More than $84 million has been raised to date, supporting the creation of new endowed chairs, more financial aid and scholarship funds, and new academic initiatives.

As evidenced by ratings recently issued by Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, the University is in an unprecedented position of financial strength, while at the same time maintaining tuition at a level well below its peer group of universities.

President Dougherty's commitment to enhancing the student experience at Duquesne has led to exciting growth and development of campus facilities. Students now enjoy new apartment-style living, expanded green space, wireless capabilities throughout the University grounds, and a brand new multipurpose recreation facility on Forbes Avenue, connected to campus by the city’s tallest sky bridge. Dougherty is also committed to enhancing athletics, a touchstone for students, staff, faculty and alumni alike. The arrival of a new athletic director and new coaches in football and men’s and women’s basketball, as well as more winning seasons have created an exciting momentum for both athletes and fans. Improvements continue to be made at facilities such as Rooney Field to augment athletic programs.

Under Dougherty’s direction, Duquesne’s focus on its Catholic foundation has been enhanced through the creation of the Center for Spiritan Studies, and the Center for the Study of Catholic Social Thought. Additionally, the University’s unique position as the world’s only Spiritan university and its mission—to “serve God by serving students”— are now emphasized in orientation for freshmen students and new employees.

“Dr. Dougherty’s commitment to ensuring that Duquesne’s mission is at the forefront of decisions is not only recognized by the Corporation—it was also very clearly affirmed by the Middle States Accreditation Committee during the recent accreditation process,” saidthe Very Rev. Jeffrey T. Duaime, C.S.Sp., chairman of the Duquesne University Corp. “Dr. Dougherty understands that staying true to the pillars of our mission is critical to successfully shaping a new generation of students intellectually and spiritually prepared to improve the world around them.”

Providing students with an education based upon core values, while ensuring they receive the skills they need to compete in an ever-changing, market-driven world is a challenge that President Dougherty embraces.

“I am pleased to be serving Duquesne and its students at a time when the campus is poised for growth in many different areas and blessed to be leading a University that has such positive, long-lasting impact on so many lives,” Dougherty said. Dougherty began his presidency in August 2001.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.