Point Park University Names Dr. Donald J. Green as Its New President Monday, April 12, 2021
“Point Park’s intense focus on diversity, student success and experiential learning is right in line with my core values as an educator. I am excited to immerse myself in so much of what Point Park and the Pittsburgh region has to offer.”
The Point Park University Board of Trustees has named Dr. Donald J. Green as the University’s eighth president. Following a lengthy and thorough national search that attracted a diverse pool of highly qualified candidates, Green will begin his duties this summer.
Green is currently president of Georgia Highlands College in Rome, a six-site state college with the University System of Georgia providing both associate and baccalaureate degrees.
“Among a group of highly qualified and diverse candidates, Dr. Green’s commitment to educational excellence, diversity and fiscal responsibility stood out,” said Joe Greco, chairman of Point Park’s Board of Trustees. “His long career of university-level leadership and his ability to form strong internal and external partnerships will serve the Point Park University community well.”
Green succeeds Dr. Paul Hennigan, who is retiring after 16 years as president of Point Park.
Green has 25 years of leadership in education, including 13 years at a state university, six years at a private university and six more at a state college. He has a reputation for nurturing innovative curriculum, industry partnerships, creative cultures, enrollment growth and sound fiscal management. Prior to Georgia Highlands College, Green spent 15 years in several leadership roles at Ferris State University in Michigan.
“President Green’s outstanding work has emphasized student success both in the classroom and in the workforce, helping GHC expand its degree programs and carry out its mission as an access point to higher education,” University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “Don has been an excellent leader who helped GHC positively impact the communities it serves and set an example that will benefit the college and students for years to come.”
During his time at Georgia Highlands, Green led an institutional turnaround, including enrollment, retention, employee compensation and an improvement in the college’s financial condition. He also oversaw increased enrollment, retention and graduation rates for students of color; created an outreach campaign to the Hispanic community in Georgia that led to a dramatic increase in student enrollment; and led increased diversification of the institution’s faculty and staff.
“I firmly believe a University needs to ensure that it is providing equal care and service to all members of its community, regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender or sexual identity. Just as important is economic equity and doing what we can to make higher education available and affordable to all people,” Green said. “I have taken those values to heart throughout my entire career in education.”
Joining Green in leading a new era at Point Park will be Dr. Michael Soto, who earlier this year was named the University’s next provost and senior vice president of Academic Affairs. He will take over the role in June. Soto joins Point Park from Trinity University in San Antonio, where he was vice president for Academic Affairs: Student Academic Issues and Retention, as well as a professor of English.
Hennigan started his career at Point Park in 2000 as vice president of finance and operations. He was named acting president in January 2006 and president in September 2006. In what will have been a 21-year senior leadership career at Point Park, the University had many significant accomplishments under Hennigan’s leadership, including the completion of the new Pittsburgh Playhouse and the Center for Media Innovation, and the development of a University-wide undergraduate cooperative education program.
“I am honored to have worked with so many talented people affiliated with Point Park over the years. Together, we have built so much that has influenced the lives of so many,” Hennigan said. “I will do everything I can to support Dr. Green as the University’s next president, and I see a bright future ahead for Point Park under his leadership.”
Green and his wife, Cathy, are eager to begin their journey in Pittsburgh, and their children – two sons attending college and a daughter about to enter the professional world – are enthusiastic about their parents’ impending move and looking forward to what they believe is a vibrant and thriving city.
“Point Park’s intense focus on diversity, student success and experiential learning is right in line with my core values as an educator,” Green said. “I am excited to immerse myself in so much of what Point Park and the Pittsburgh region has to offer.”