DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Surprising announcement from the new University of Dayton president as he unveiled his strategic plans for the flyers during an inauguration ceremony.
Dr. Eric Spina is just the 19th president to take over the helm at UD. Although he’s been in the position since July 2016, Spina was formally commissioned as president Tuesday by the University board of trustees and the Marianist Province of the United States.
Spina unveiled his strategic vision for the university’s future, which included a highly visible center, dedicated to innovation, in the historic Dayton Arcade and a stronger focus on women and minority businesses.
“It’s an iconic building, right in the heart of downtown, a mile and a half from our campus,” Spina said.
Spina expressed a desire to continue focusing on improving affordability and diversity on campus. The newly sworn in president telling the crowd of roughly 1,000 students, faculty, staff, alums and community leaders he wants UD to be the first university to have all its students graduate with at least one course in intercultural studies, innovation or entrepreneurship to better prepare for the work of social transformation.
“What I’ve heard over these last nine months from really the community and the university is we should do more. We should double down,” Spina said.
His strategic vision also included growing their research program in the way of sustainability and human rights, autonomous systems, and health and bio-sciences. The university plans to create space in Charminade Hall for nonprofit organizations to address urgent human challenges like food insecurity, violence and homelessness through community-based education and scholarship.
“Our theme for today was partnerships. We’re going to choose where we’re going to be great and we’re going to invest in those areas. We’re not going to choose a million…so whether it’s research that we do together to create jobs locally or whether it’s making certain that our students when they graduate want to stay here because there are exciting things happening and they have a lot to give.”
This is only the third presidential inauguration at the University in the past 36 years. Spina previously worked at Syracuse University for 28 years, including nearly nine as vice chancellor and provost.
According to Spina some of the initiatives are already underway. Others may take a few years to come to fruition.