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Dougherty Presidency Extended to 2011

The Duquesne University Board of Directors has granted a five-year contract extension to President Charles Dougherty. Dougherty, who took office in 2001, has led extensive campus growth and achievement.

“I am delighted with the extension of my contract and grateful to the Board, the Spiritans, and the Duquesne community for their confidence and support,” said Dougherty. “The tradition on this Bluff is truly exceptional and I am thrilled to be part of it.” He added that this decision “gives the University a stability of leadership that will ensure continued progress for Duquesne.”

Under Dougherty’s leadership, the academic profile of Duquesne’s student body has increased dramatically. The average freshman SAT score rose 51 points—from 1080 in 2001 to 1131 in 2005—and SAT scores for high-demand programs such as forensics, pharmacy and the Honors College top 1,300 today. During those same four years, Duquesne achieved record-breaking freshman enrollment, with retention rates of nearly 90 percent—far exceeding the national average.

Dougherty has led improvements on the other side of the desk as well. He has presided over the installation of seven endowed faculty chairs, anchoring and adding outstanding performers among the faculty.

Dougherty’s focus on academic quality led to the establishment of Duquesne’s first comprehensive review program designed to assure that the University provides the highest level of service and education in all academic areas. Additionally, 21 new programs across the spectrum of Duquesne’s schools of study have been added to the University’s offerings under Dougherty’s leadership, including the nation’s first weekend PharmD. program and first master’s in sports leadership.

“The Board’s unanimous support for extending President Dougherty’s contract is a direct result of the great strides Duquesne has experienced during his leadership,” said John Connelly, chairman of the Duquesne Board of Directors. “We are confident in his ability to advance the institution academically and operationally, and fully expect more exciting progress in the years to come.” Connelly also noted that Dougherty oversaw the development of the University’s first strategic plan, as well as its first campus master plan.

Duquesne’s campus has grown nearly 10 percent in the last four years, with the addition of apartment-style housing with the purchase of Brottier Hall and the acquisition of a two-acre block on the north side of Forbes Avenue. The mixed-use development will house a multi-purpose recreational center, academic spaces, retail establishments, and serve as a new “front door” to Duquesne.

Fund raising remains strong under Dougherty, with cash-in during fiscal year 2004-2005 up 30 percent from the previous fiscal year, reaching $12.5 million. Nearly 40 percent of the total dollars came from alumni donors. Employees have already committed more than $850,000 in the quiet phase of Duquesne’s capital campaign, demonstrating continued internal support for the direction of the University.

“President Dougherty is dedicated to furthering Duquesne’s Catholic and Spiritan mission,” said the Rev. Timothy Hickey, C.S.Sp., vice chair of the Duquesne University Corporation, the entity that owns the University. “We are grateful for his continued commitment to serving God by serving students and look forward to another five years of working together to advance Duquesne’s legacy as a premier Catholic institution of higher education.”

Dougherty’s new term begins July 1, 2006 and extends through June 30, 2011.

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.