CARL KOLOGIE: Dr. Mike right guy for the job
It’s finally official.
Although he took charge and has been sitting behind the desk in the executive office at John Sutton Hall for nearly a year, Dr. Michael A. (“just call me Mike”) Driscoll was inaugurated Friday as the 26th president of Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
At about 4 p.m., following the oath of office, two former IUP presidents, John Welty (1984-91) and David Werner (2010-12) placed the large gold medallion — symbolic of the presidency — on the shoulders of the school’s new top exec.
This was followed by a lengthy standing ovation from the large crowd made up mainly of the university’s faculty and other staff members, and community leaders from throughout Indiana County.
Although they are still “new kids on the block,” Driscoll and his wife, Becky, have made many favorable inroads with the university family and community members.
This was evident by the remarks from the lineup of speakers who stood at the podium and lauded Driscoll for his many outstanding accomplishments in his brief stint as head of the university.
Susan Delaney, chairwoman of the IUP Council of Trustees, who also served as emcee for the event, noted that there was no doubt in her mind that IUP has made the right choice. Indiana attorney Jonathan Mack, a member of the state system of higher education board of governors, called Driscoll “the real deal.”
Mack also pointed out that Driscoll consistently deflects credit for achievements while shouldering “all the blame” for anything that goes wrong.
“He is a humble, caring guy who is interested in what you have to say,” said Mack, “regardless of your titles.”
Each of the speakers had high praise for Driscoll’s accomplishments and outstanding efforts in a leadership role.
Daniel O. Bernstine, president of Portland State University when Driscoll was a vice provost and executive dean, among other positions at that school, emphatically stated, “You got the right man for the job.”
He is the right man for this time and place, he said.
Throughout his inaugural address, Driscoll stressed the importance of the community bordering the university and town-gown relationship.
He and his wife have already participated in many local events in the short time they have been in the area and have won over many friends with their down-to-earth approach.
And if the round of applause from the faculty was any indication, he may be helping to close the gap that existed between the professors and previous administrations.
Although the Driscoll’s two adult children were not in attendance, as they are in school in Anchorage, Alaska, there were other family members present at the event, including his wife’s mother, Jean Young, of California, his parents, Bette and David Driscoll, and his brother-in-law, Chris Van Senden, of Michigan.
It has been only a year and Michael Driscoll has already made his mark on the university and on the community.
As he said at the end of his address: “Together, we will be successful.”