GC dean to leave U for Morehouse College

Taylor will become the provost and vice president of academic affairs.

by Matt Graham

The future of General College remains unknown, but it will not include David Taylor.

The General College dean accepted a position at Morehouse College in Atlanta on Thursday and will become provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. He said he will leave the University in August.

Taylor, 59, said he gets two or three similar offers every year, but “this one seemed particularly interesting given Morehouse’s history.”

Founded in 1867, Morehouse College is the nation’s largest private liberal arts college for black men.

Taylor said the Morehouse College offer was too good to pass up. He would not say if his decision to leave had anything to do with the University’s plan to close General College.

A 1967 University graduate, Taylor returned in 1989 to become a professor and dean of General College.

Taylor said he was attracted to Morehouse College’s President Walter Massey’s vision for making Morehouse College one of the nation’s top small liberal arts colleges.

He will likely retire in a few years, he said. This will be his last chance to make a big impact in another position after being at the University for 16 years, he said.

Taylor’s announced departure comes amid a turbulent time for General College. The Board of Regents will decide in June whether to eliminate the school as part of the University’s plan for the future.

But, Taylor said, he will still be here when the Board of Regents makes its decision in June. He did not think his announcement would affect the regents’ outcome, he said.

Robert Poch, General College assistant dean and director of student services, said Taylor’s new position is well-deserved.

Taylor is able to listen to all members of an organization, Poch said.

“He’s got universal leadership skills,” he said.

Those at General College are “elated” for Taylor but also have some sadness, Poch said.

“We’re going to feel the effects of his departure,” he said.

Taylor said the college will be in good hands, regardless of who replaces him.

“The college is quite capable of handling its own affairs,” he said.

Alondra Espejel, University senior and General College Truth Movement member, said she expects the move to energize the college.

Taylor said looking back over his career at the General College, he is most proud of the recognition the school received during his time as a leader in developmental education.

“There is not a comparable institution in the nation,” he said.

As a last message to his students, Taylor said, it is important for students to always be willing to learn.

“The world is prepared for those who prepare themselves,” he said.

Poch said Taylor is expected to do well at his new post, but he will be missed at the General College.

“There is a tremendous amount of loyalty in this building to him,” he said.