The Radford University Board of Visitors announced Danilowicz’s selection as the president-elect in December. A strong advocate of shared governance and transparency, Danilowicz brings 22 years of higher education leadership experience to the presidency.
“I join my colleagues on the Presidential Search Committee, as well as the Board of Visitors, in welcoming Dr. Danilowicz as our new president at Radford University. We have all been impressed with Bret’s knowledge, skills and experience in higher education and believe that he is the right fit for our university as we go into the future,” said Debra McMahon, Ph.D., rector of the Board of Visitors. “Bret and Kay will be wonderful assets to the Radford community; they are excited to call Radford home.”
Most recently, Danilowicz served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Atlantic University. As provost, he implemented incentive-based budgeting, coordinated a nation-leading improvement in graduation rates, established a public forum for civil discourse, and developed and implemented strategies for advancement towards R1 reclassification.
Bret will be a wonderful president. I am extremely proud of his achievements, and so happy for Bret and his family as he transitions into this role,” said John Kelly, Ph.D., president of Florida Atlantic University. “He is a creative thinker and very personable. He will serve Radford University well.”
Before joining Florida Atlantic University, Danilowicz served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma State University. There, he created a shared governance strategic planning and budgeting process, diversified college and departmental leadership, established a college-wide focus on diversity and inclusion, and always exceeded fundraising goals. While dean, he co-authored “Organizing Academic Colleges,” which uses models and case studies to describe how to successfully navigate administrative reorganizations.
In collaboration with the faculty senate at Florida Atlantic, Danilowicz launched a diversity, equity and inclusion committee charged with identifying policies and practices which should be changed to improve diversity and inclusion efforts. As a result, one of the major changes enacted was the addition of diversity and inclusion learning outcomes for all degrees.
In the last three years, Danilowicz led Florida Atlantic to achieve its highest scores ever in the Florida Board of Governors’ Performance Metrics. The 89-point score in 2021 was the third highest score in Florida. In addition, Florida Atlantic’s four-year graduation rates rose from 31 to 47% in the last three years.
Danilowicz earned a doctor of philosophy degree in zoology from Duke University, a master of business administration from Georgia Southern University, master of arts in education leadership from Open University, U.K., and his bachelor of science in biology with a computer science minor from Utica College of Syracuse University. Additionally, he held two postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Windsor, Canada.
He is married to Kay Danilowicz, an experienced pediatric speech language pathologist who has worked extensively with early intervention and school-aged children. They are the proud parents of Torin, Brynn, Teagan, and Cullen, and are active in the communities where they live. They co-trained a therapy dog and served as a pet therapy team at universities and in healthcare settings. They have built sets, worked backstage, and performed onstage in local theatre, coached soccer, and served on non-profit and educational boards. When not at work or with the community, both enjoy exploring the outdoors, riding their horses, and spoiling their dogs, Bainne and Koda.