Michael Driscoll: Biography

  • Dr. Michael Driscoll in the Oak Grove

    President Michael Driscoll’s leadership of IUP has been guided by the following principles:

    • Work collaboratively to build IUP’s future.

    • Empower students to become the world’s transformative leaders through high-quality academic programs; strong support structures; and interconnected, hands-on learning experience outside the classroom.

    • Be a good steward of resources.

    • Increase IUP’s positive impact on community partners.

    With an eye toward IUP’s sesquicentennial in 2025, Driscoll led the university community’s adoption of a shared vision and strategic plan. Both emphasize a student experience that connects research and learning with providing solutions to societal problems.

    The Middle States Commission on Higher Education commended IUP for the inclusive process and number of university citizens engaged in developing the vision, strategic plan, and self-study for the once-in-ten-year reaffirmation of institutional accreditation—the ultimate stamp of approval.

    Under Driscoll’s leadership, the university continues to develop new academic degree programs and revamp existing ones, leveraging IUP’s strengths as a Doctoral/Research university to meet the needs of Pennsylvania’s residents while attracting students from across the nation and around the world. IUP’s international student population is the largest within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

    Many students enroll at IUP for noteworthy programs such as safety sciences, music, and criminal justice. An American Psychological Association publication has cited IUP’s doctoral program in clinical psychology as among the nation’s top five, while the Modern Language Association has praised IUP’s doctoral programs in English as among the most successful in advancing careers.

    The Driscoll administration established the Academic Success Center, which employs a blended approach of personal contact and technology to help students monitor and improve their academic performance.

    Diversity and inclusion have been major focuses during Driscoll’s tenure: He formed the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion to enhance IUP’s learning atmosphere, and he created the Center for Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement to reflect students’ distinctive differences while acknowledging they become better leaders through direct experience.

    IUP’s Military and Veterans Resource Center assists veterans and active-military personnel and their families in achieving their educational goals. Driscoll established the center in part thanks to research conducted by a team of faculty members and students who concluded that veterans successfully assimilate to civilian life and the college experience with unique support.

    With the support of donors and the Foundation for IUP and with wise use of university resources, Driscoll has made available to students more than $7 million per year in additional financial aid.

    In 2016, IUP opened its first new academic building in 20 years—for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It earned LEED certification, an honor shared by all of the university’s recently completed residence halls.

    Driscoll strengthened the University Planning Council’s role to oversee the strategic plan’s implementation and assess progress toward it. In a budget transformation that required cooperation from all the university’s sectors, IUP has reduced expenditures by about $10 million and increased revenue by approximately $8.5 million.

    He formed the Indiana Area Collaborative Team to strengthen IUP’s relationship with the local community, including government and business leaders and law enforcement agencies to help respond to out-of-control parties in the community. The team serves as the base for additional collaboration to advance shared projects. Driscoll’s interest in community partnerships is reflected in his work as chair of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Committee on Economic and Workforce Development, on which he played a lead role in writing a statement regarding the economic importance universities have in their host regions.

    He was elected the 2017-18 chair of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Commission of Presidents/Commission for the Universities. A member of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, he currently holds board memberships on the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh, Indiana Healthcare Corporation, and the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce.

    Before his arrival to IUP in 2012, Driscoll served as the executive vice chancellor and provost of the University of Alaska Anchorage, a position he took after serving in various posts at Portland State University in Oregon. He earned his PhD in 1988, his MS in 1985, and his BS in 1983, all in electrical engineering at Michigan State University.

    He and his wife, Becky, enjoy all the cultural and athletics events that IUP has to offer. They have two adult children.