Taylor-made for presidency

When Dr. Keith Taylor takes the reigns from Dr. Phil Kelly and assumes the position of Gannon University president in July, it won’t be the first time that he will have taken over for Kelly in an administrative post.

When Taylor arrived at Gannon from Daemen College in 2004, he succeeded Kelly as provost and vice president of academic affairs. And it was Taylor’s efforts as provost in large part that made him the best candidate for the president’s job in the eyes of the university’s board of trustees.

During his time as provost, Taylor has been instrumental in helping Gannon overhaul its undergraduate courses of study as it successfully transitioned from a two-college to three-college university in Gannon’s Strategic Plan II: 2008-2013.

Under Taylor’s direction, Gannon’s liberal studies curriculum was revised as the university added a new doctoral-level program and six new bachelor’s degree programs.

Not only has Taylor worked alongside those at Gannon, he’s no stranger to the national education  landscape, as he fought for support from the Council for Opportunity in Education in Washington, D.C., to implement a new, comprehensive student mentoring  program  involving Gannon and the Erie School District.

Those in the Gannon community aren’t the only ones who have benefited from Taylor’s term as provost and vice president.  He also played an important role in the university’s efforts in community development through the Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) program.

Erie-GAINS represents a series of strategic initiatives designed to stimulate positive change in downtown Erie and the neighborhoods surrounding campus. Taylor also was active in a number of other Erie programs during his six years as provost.

Since arriving at Gannon, Taylor has served as a board member for the Boys & Girls Club, a member of the Cooperative for Innovation and Commercialization, board president for the Collegiate Academic Crew Association, a board member of the Keystone Innovation Zone Council and as a reader for the Hooked on Books! program.

Taylor has also proved himself to be capable, during his time at Gannon, of one of the president’s most important duties – fundraising. He led the establishment of an Academic Grants Office and secured more than $6 million in support from corporations and foundations while also helping the university secure $600,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation for students in science and engineering disciplines.

Prior to arriving at Gannon, Taylor was a faculty member and administrator at Daemen in Amherst, N.Y., where he served as the academic dean of health and human services and a professor of physical therapy.  He also held the title of assistant to the vice president for academic affairs for instructional technology and liberal learning.

It was during this time that Taylor helped restructure Daemen’s curriculum and the physical therapy department’s accreditation as a doctoral-level offering.

Taylor earned his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, a master’s degree in exercise science and a doctoral degree in anatomy from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  As a licensed physical therapist, Taylor is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Conference of Academic Deans of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Zack McDermott

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