Donald B. Taylor, PhD, is the eighth President of Cabrini University and transitioned Cabrini from a college to a university in 2016.
His mission-driven, entrepreneurial Cabrini 2020 Roadmap to Growth and the Cabrini Promise became the strategic plan Cabrini 2020 Roadmap: Vision, Impact, Growth.
The goal of this 2020 Roadmap is to strengthen the Catholic liberal arts education experience for the University’s diverse population of undergraduate and graduate students who are often the first in their family to attend college.
To create educational pathways for students to attend Cabrini, Taylor has established almost two dozen partnerships with K–12 schools, institutions of higher education, and educational nonprofits across the region, the nation, and the world.
He expanded undergraduate and graduate degree programs at the University and introduced Cabrini’s first two doctoral programs: Educational Leadership (EdD) and Organizational Development (PhD/DBA). He has also expanded undergraduate research and introduced second-year Living and Learning Communities.
Taylor also created four distinct schools in the University each headed by a Dean: the School of Education; the School of Business, Arts, and Media; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and the School of Natural Sciences and Allied Health.
Taylor has focused strategic initiatives to make Cabrini University a Hispanic Serving Institution, including partnering with organizations like the National Hispanic Institute and Esperanza, and by creating partnerships with schools in South America. This coincides with his effort to internationalize the Cabrini campus by introducing the University into the global educational marketplace in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Taylor serves as the chief executive at Cabrini following a 22-year career at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL, where he most recently served as Provost and Chief Academic Officer from 2008 to 2014.
Taylor was integral in the evolution of Benedictine University 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 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, he was supported by a research fellowship from the Van Vleet Cancer Foundation. Taylor earned a BS in education and a PhD 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 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 President’s residence on the north edge of the University’s 112-acre picturesque campus near Philadelphia.