Cabrini President Donald Taylor resigns to head up Detroit Mercy

By Max Silverman
February 22, 2022

Donald Taylor. Photo from
Donald Taylor. Photo from

Cabrini University President Donald Taylor announced Tuesday morning that he is resigning to take a job as president at University of Detroit Mercy.

His resignation, announced in a Cabrini-wide email, is effective at the end of this academic year. Taylor, 57, said that a transition plan is underway, and details will come from Cabrini’s Board Chair Amy Lambert, “as soon as they are available.”

Detroit Mercy reported the announcement minutes after the email was sent this morning, saying, “Taylor was selected for his three decades of experiences with developing academic programs, fostering alumni relations, partnering with communities, fundraising and other administrative responsibilities at other Catholic institutions.”

“It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as the eighth president of Cabrini University, since taking office in July 2014,” Taylor said in the Feb. 22 email. “A special thanks to Sisters Christine Marie Baltas and Grace Waters who have blessed our campus with their daily example of what an Education of the Heart means. Servant leadership of a university requires collaboration, and I would like to thank every Cabinet member I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside during my time at Cabrini.”

During his leadership, Taylor’s many accomplishments as president include:

  • Transitioning the University from a College to a University in 2016.
  • Creation of four distinct schools in the University, each headed by a dean: School of Education; School of Business, Arts, and Media; School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and School of Natural Sciences and Allied Health.
  • Creation of four academic centers of excellence at the University: Center on Immigration; Center on Urban Education, Equity, and Improvement; Center on Domestic Violence & Early Childhood Education; and the Center on Global Business.
  • Securing a partnership for Cabrini to become the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s first college partner with TheDream.US, an initiative that provides scholarship support for DACA students.
  • Introducing the Cabrini 2020 Roadmap to Growth Strategic Plan and the Cabrini Promise. Created educational pathways for students to attend Cabrini by establishing nearly two dozen partnerships with K–12 schools (dual credit), institutions of higher education (4+1 degrees), and educational non-profits across the region, the nation, and the world.
  • Introducing Cabrini’s first two doctoral programs, Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) and Organizational Development (Ph.D.).

“He (Taylor) had a good impact on my life and I’m very sad that he left,” Jennifer Sinchi, accounting major, said. “He was very welcoming to me and my family, and was the main reason I chose to go to Cabrini.”

Despite these achievements, Taylor’s presidency has also been met with challenges.

Taylor, who has a total annual compensation package of $477,702, announced his resignation following several years of financial hardships facing the university. 

The University has been steadily losing money during his tenure as president. During his first year at Cabrini, the school had a $900,000 deficit. According to the IRS Form 990, a public federal tax document, Cabrini reports that each year he served, from 2015 to 2020, the university reported a deficit between $3 and $6 million. Also during his leadership, many departments and academic programs were cut in an attempt to save money. 

Brianie Ramos, sophomore accounting major and Spanish minor, felt blinded by the Spanish department getting cut, and felt silenced as a minority student. 

In Detroit Mercy’s announcement posted Tuesday, Taylor expressed his excitement for his new post: “It is a great honor and I am humbled to be selected to serve as the next president of one of the great Catholic Universities in our nation at this time in its institutional history, building from the tremendous success and momentum of President Garibaldi’s long tenure at Detroit Mercy. In partnership with an engaged Board of Trustees, the Jesuits, Sisters of Mercy, faculty, staff, students, alumni and the greater Detroit metropolitan community, we look forward to leading Detroit Mercy to become the best comprehensive Catholic University in the Midwest.”

His presidency at Detroit Mercy will begin on July 1, 2022.

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Max Silverman

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