Duquesne University Expands Roles of Campus Leaders

Duquesne President Ken Gormley announced the strategic expansion of the roles of University Cabinet members William Generett and Dave Harper.

 Generett will now serve as senior vice president of civic engagement and external relations. Harper will be elevated to vice president of athletics.  

"Bill Generett and Dave Harper have brought extensive strategic expertise and experience to the University Cabinet," said Gormley. "Their continued diligent efforts and commitment to Duquesne University, our mission, students and employees-especially during this unprecedented year-have significantly contributed to our leadership team's success. They are important components to the leadership team, and I'm proud to recognize these contributions through their well-deserved promotions."  

Generett, who was named Duquesne's first vice president for community engagement in 2017, led the development of the inaugural Office of Community Engagement, which has now expanded into the new Office of Civic Engagement and External Relations (OCER). Under Generett's direction, this office includes the community engagement, government affairs, and corporate and foundation relations areas. The community engagement area encompasses the Center for Engaged Teaching and Research as well as student volunteerism, a longtime tradition at Duquesne.  

In his expanded role, Generett will provide leadership and support of Duquesne's mission of service and commitment to the city of Pittsburgh, western Pennsylvania and the nation.  

"In our coordinated and more visible efforts, we've been able to educate the public and help them understand the breadth and scope of the University's community-engagement work," said Generett. "This has led to helping the University secure significant funding and support for important projects such as community-based screenings of local children for uncontrolled asthma to development of the new Center for Integrative Health."  

During his time at Duquesne, Generett has helped the University strengthen its relationships with local, state and federal elected officials. This has resulted in approximately $4 million in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grants for the University for the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse and the proposed College of Osteopathic Medicine. Generett also worked with the Office of Research in securing a $500,000 grant for the historic renovation of the August Wilson House.  

Generett, who co-chairs Duquesne's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Action Planning Team, has been a leading advisor for Gormley and the leadership team in their work to further define and advance diversity, equity and inclusion goals. During the last year, the University launched a new Bias Education Response Team, and is expanding the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which is moving to a new space.  

Generett is a very active member of the Pittsburgh community, where he serves on several boards, including the Pittsburgh Foundation Board of Directors.  

Similarly, Harper has taken on a growing role on the leadership team. Since arriving at Duquesne in 2015, Harper's work and skill set-which includes a background in marketing, branding and advancement-has impacted everything from fund raising to student life at Duquesne University.  

Under Harper's leadership, Duquesne Athletics has experienced competitive successes and academic achievements never before achieved at the University. Harper credits his accomplishments to working with a committed and driven team in Athletics that has relentlessly pursued the strategic plan.  

"Our team has worked hard to reposition our brand in conjunction with improving performance both academically and competitively as well as increasing service hours in the community," Harper said. "We continue to elevate recruitment levels, have secured more national media opportunities for Duquesne and have many staff members, including President Gormley, serving on NCAA and Atlantic 10 committees."  

Completion of the UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse is a University-wide achievement in which Harper played a leading role. Located on the site of the former A.J. Palumbo Center, the new 10,000 square-foot Fieldhouse is home to the men's and women's basketball and volleyball teams, and support and training facilities for all athletic teams.  

"The project team and all involved battled through the Covid pandemic to complete construction in time for us to play our first game in the place in February," Harper said. "We're fortunate to have a donor group that is one of the best in the country in terms of the support they provide, but more importantly, they are great and talented people who are a pleasure to work with."     

Harper is a member of the Atlantic 10 Men's Basketball Competitiveness Committee and chaired the Student Athlete Advisory Committee and served on the Women's Basketball Head Coach Committee and Finance Committee.  

"Both of these promotions will allow Duquesne to continue to grow in prominence and excellence on a regional and national level," Gormley said. "We look forward to many more contributions from these talented administrators."

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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