Friday, May 20, 2005
The Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors today
requested that Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D., extend his presidency for an
additional three years, until June 30, 2010.
Trani earlier had
announced his plans to retire from the position of VCU president at the
end of his current contract, June 30, 2007. After a discussion with the
board, Trani accepted the request to extend his presidency.
“The Board of
Visitors felt strongly that it did not want to lose momentum on several
important initiatives that reach critical stages right at the time Dr.
Trani would be stepping down as president of the university,” said VCU
Rector Edward H. Bersoff, Ph.D. “We believe VCU and the Richmond
community will benefit greatly from President Trani’s direct involvement
and guidance over the next five years.”
Bersoff said the
transition to a new president at this time would take away focus from
key programs that are vital to VCU’s future, such as initiatives to
dramatically increase research and development and to improve the
student experience of a changing student body. Projects include the
Monroe Park Campus Addition, which includes the construction of new
buildings for the Schools of Business and Engineering, a new School of
Medicine building, a new critical care hospital of the VCU Health System
on the MCV Campus, further development of the Virginia Biotechnology
Research Park, and expansion of the Inova Campus of the VCU School of
Medicine in northern Virginia.
“We’ve asked Dr.
Trani not only to guide VCU through some extraordinarily exciting times
coming up in the next few years, but also to represent VCU in the
national and international arenas,” Bersoff said. “Dr. Trani has been
uniquely successful at building VCU into a major urban research
institution in partnership with the Richmond community, greatly
enhancing the economic vitality of the entire region. Other universities
and cities can learn from this.”
Bersoff noted several
of Dr. Trani’s accomplishments during his 15-year tenure as university
president, including the establishment of the School of Engineering, the
Biotech Park and VCU Life Sciences. The implementation of the 1996
Master Site Plan resulted in the redevelopment of Broad Street and the
transformation of VCU from a commuter school to a residential
university, the second largest in the state.
spearheaded long-range planning for VCU’s academic medical center which
led to the establishment of the Virginia Commonwealth University Health
System, a merger of the clinical activities of the Medical College of
Virginia Hospitals, MCV Physicians and VCU’s School of Medicine.
Bersoff said these
accomplishments have been coupled with community leadership
responsibilities. Trani chaired the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and
Richmond Renaissance, an economic development organization. He also
serves on numerous corporate and civic boards.
“I am pleased to
accept the board’s request, and I look forward to not only leading our
important initiatives, but also to the expanded external role of the
presidency,” Trani said. “VCU has matured to the point where I believe
we are a model for a number of issues facing urban research universities
– both public and private – and I look forward to being an ambassador
for this great institution.”
Trani, 65, came to
VCU in 1990 from the University of Wisconsin System where he was vice
president for academic affairs and professor of history. He is a
graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned his master’s and
doctoral degrees from Indiana University.
About VCU and VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 226 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.