A Class Act

There are many people who fit the description of a leader but few who embody it heart and soul. Interim President Donald J. Para is that exception.

Much is known of his 26 years of accomplishments on campus.

Following his 12-year stint as Department of Music chair and year as associate dean, he served as dean of one of the nation’s largest colleges of the arts, raising $30 million while establishing the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music and developing a joint MBA/MFA in theater management degree.

In 2010, he was appointed the Division of Academic Affairs provost and senior vice president, after serving a year as interim provost. Despite severe state budget cuts, he oversaw the creation of the Highly Valued Degree Initiative, which has boosted graduation rates while raising the value of our degrees. During his tenure, the university also experienced a significant increase in student applications, receiving more than 80,000 for fall 2013 admissions.