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Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Names New President

May 9, 2013

The Harrisburg University of Science and Technology Board of Trustees has selected interim school president Dr. Eric Darr as President effective immediately.

Dr. Darr has served in the interim role since July 1, 2012.  He becomes the second president in the history of the private science and technology-focused university.

“Eric ran with the post of interim president like he was auditioning for the role of his life. From day one, he set out to prove his capabilities and, more importantly, position this university for growth and innovation. He recruited the largest freshman class in our history. He founded our Philadelphia campus. He formed strategic partnerships that led to new centers of learning and convinced the Board that he will continue to leverage resources in the drive to turn the Harrisburg region into a hub for STEM learning and breakthroughs,” says Robert Dolan, Chair of the Board of Trustees.

The board voted at its May 9th meeting to select Dr. Darr, who has served in many roles at the University, including provost and executive vice president, since joining HU as vice president of finance and administration in January 2005. 

“Eric knows this university from the ground up.  We are different, we have a unique and critical mission. No other university has our mission and vision – to change the lives of students through relevant, real-world learning, and to drive economic development by bridging the worlds of higher education and business. He has already used his intimate knowledge of every nook and cranny of this school and its operations to launch transformative initiatives, and that flow of ideas is sure to continue. That’s the kind of energetic leadership this board demands, and Eric consistently exceeds our highest expectations,” says Mr. Dolan.

He notes that Dr. Darr immediately impressed the board, donors, faculty and community leaders when he became interim president.

“As we organized for a search to replace founding president Mel Schiavelli – big shoes to fill -- we realized that Eric had made prodigious progress within his first months as interim president and that momentum continued throughout the year. With the official title of president, he will provide the leadership to sustain that progress,” says Mr. Dolan.

Within the past 10 months under Dr. Darr’s leadership, the University expanded to include a Philadelphia location; welcomed the largest class of new students in its history, froze its tuition, launched new graduate and undergraduate degree programs, secured grants and scholarship support, opened new housing for its students and began construction on a third housing project for students. 

Dr. Darr currently serves on several community Boards including, the Technology Council of Pennsylvania, the Innovation Transfer Network, and the Hershey Center for Applied Research.  Additionally, he serves on the Education Committee of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce.

While at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles, he conducted research and consulted in over twenty multinational corporations including Arthur Andersen, Gemini Consulting, TRW Space and Electronics, Hughes Aerospace, Bank of America, Xerox, British Airways and Qantas Airlines.

During his career, he has developed and taught Doctoral and MBA courses in organizational learning, organizational change, organization design, process reengineering, business strategy and technology management. Further, he developed and taught executive education courses in measuring intellectual capital, corporate renewal, managing information technology resources, improving product development and creating organizational memory.

He has published numerous articles and book chapters on organizational learning, learning technologies and competitive advantage. He has been an invited speaker at universities in the United States, Austria, Great Britain, France, Australia and the Netherlands. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the Center for International Business Education and Research at UCLA.

Prior to joining Harrisburg University he was Chief Operating Officer from 2000 until 2003 at KnowledgePlanet, Inc., a software company located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Darr led Ernst & Young’s Knowledge Management Consulting Services.

He earned both a bachelor-of-science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1985 and a master-of-science degree in psychology in 1988 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also earned a master-of-science degree in Organizational Behavior in May 1991 and a doctor of philosophy degree in Industrial Administration (Organizational Behavior and Theory), in May 1994 from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner and noted organizational theorist Herbert Simon.

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private university offering bachelor-of-science and graduate degree programs in science, technology and math fields. For more information on the University's affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email, Connect@HarrisburgU.edu