President, University of Detroit Mercy
Donald B. Taylor, Ph.D., became the 26th president of the University of Detroit Mercy on July 1, 2022.
From 2014 through 2022, he served as president of Cabrini University, a private Roman Catholic university in Radnor Township, PA, near Philadelphia, that provides undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate degree programs to more than 2,000 students. During Taylor’s tenure as president, Cabrini ranked among the top ‘40 Most Transformative Colleges’ in the nation by Money Magazine based on the institution’s “value add,” an indicator to showcase schools whose alumni report high levels of success. In 2019, the University was also ranked as one of the ‘Best Northern Universities’ by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges Edition.”
Taylor focused on strategic initiatives to strengthen the Catholic liberal arts education experience for the University’s diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students while also focusing on partnerships and programs. He transitioned Cabrini from a college to a university in 2016.
Taylor served as the president of Cabrini following a 22-year career at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, where he served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer from 2008 to 2014. Taylor was integral in the evolution of Benedictine from a small, residential liberal arts college of 1,000 students to a comprehensive doctoral institution of more than 10,000 students with branch campuses in Springfield, IL, and Mesa, AZ. He also helped plan and implement Benedictine’s Global University, developing partnerships with prestigious universities in China and Vietnam.
Prior to his appointment as Benedictine’s provost, Taylor served as the university’s initial Dean of the University of Sciences, Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Program Director for the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program. Taylor joined the faculty at Benedictine in 1992. He was awarded the Scholl Endowed Chair in the Health Sciences in 1997.
Before Benedictine, Taylor was supported by a research fellowship from the Van Vleet Cancer Foundation. He earned a B.S. in education and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Memphis.
Taylor’s research interests have included the biochemical, cellular and molecular mechanisms of blood platelet aggregation, blood clot formation, and cell-cell interactions, to the design, synthesis, and characterization of novel pharmaceutical compounds for the use in the study of hemostasis and thrombosis. His research interests in higher education have included problem-based learning, effective partnerships in science education at the K-16 level, and educational technologies.
He has published more than 40 peer-reviewed abstracts, manuscripts, and reviews in scientific journals, and has given and participated in more than 60 presentations on science and higher education. Taylor has received 20 awards for teaching, research, and service and secured millions of dollars in extramural funding, including large awards from the U.S. Department of Energy, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the National Science Foundation.
Taylor and his wife, Lechia, a nurse and certified case manager, have a son, Seth. They live in the University Commons neighborhood in Detroit.