In August 2007, Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan began his tenure as the 12th president of Delaware Valley University. His work quickly focused on using a strategic planning process to transform virtually all aspects of the institution. The collective result came in December 2014 when DelVal attained university status.
Dr. Brosnan's leadership style involves developing a strong leadership team and building a board that is active, engaged and highly supportive of the effort to meet the new challenges facing higher education. He has advocated and overseen the revitalization and expansion of undergraduate and graduate programs, including an assortment of new master's degrees and the launching in 2014 of the first doctoral program.
These additions were structured under a new framework that established four academic divisions – the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences; the School of Life and Physical Sciences; the School of Business and Humanities; and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.
Under his tenure, Dr. Brosnan re-emphasized the institution's traditional link between theory and practice. The offshoot was a more robust suite of real world options called Experience 360, a distinctive approach to learning that includes, internships, service projects, leadership training, foreign travel and more.
To support academics, scholarships, student life and campus improvements, Dr. Brosnan initiated a $50 million "Realizing the Vision" fundraising campaign. The public phase of the campaign began in fall 2012. Two years later it surpassed the $50 million milestone.
Included in the campaign was a $31 million gift in land and cash, the largest in DelVal history, from the Warwick Foundation. The land portion of the gift was the 398-acre Gemmill property in Warwick Township, about 15 minutes from the main campus in Doylestown.
Among the most significant projects funded by the campaign was the Life Sciences Building, the first new academic center in 40 years. It opened in January 2014 and houses classrooms, labs and a 450-seat auditorium.
Other facets of Dr. Brosnan's presidency include establishing a sound financial footing for the institution; focusing attention on persity and inclusion; removing bureaucratic obstacles to academic study and increasing student satisfaction; expanding awareness of DelVal's identity; and becoming a strong, contributing partner in the surrounding community.
Dr. Brosnan earned his bachelor's degree from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and his master's and doctorate at the University at Albany, State University of New York. At Harvard University, he completed certificate programs at the New Presidents' Institute and the Institute for Educational Management.
He is an active community leader and serves on a number of boards, including:
- The Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania, Government Relations Liaison
- The Middle Atlantic Conference, Chair of the Executive Committee
- The Bucks County Chamber of Commerce, Vice President
- The Bucks County Conservation District
- The Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, Vice President
- The Bucks County Economic Development Advisory Board
- Pearl S. Buck International, Trustee
- Past member of the I Have a Dream Foundation.
In 2014 he received one of Rotary International's highest honors, the Four-Way Test Award.
Prior to his appointment at DelVal, Dr. Brosnan served 12 years as Vice President for Strategic Planning and External Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he directed a $155 million capital campaign. From 1990 to 1995 he was President of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C. He has worked as Senior Vice President for University Relations at St. Bonaventure University, Olean, N.Y., Chief Advancement Officer and Executive Director of the Potsdam College Foundation for the State University of New York at Potsdam and Associate Dean of Students at Marist College.
He also has taught at Teachers College, Belmont Abbey, St. Bonaventure and the University at Albany, State University of New York, and has presented at Harvard University, the American Council on Education Fellows Program, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Council of Independent Colleges, among others.
Dr. Brosnan has two grown children, three grandchildren and lives on the DelVal campus with his wife, Carla.