OLLU names Dr. Diane E. Melby president

The Board of Trustees of Our Lady of the Lake University has elected Diane E. Melby, EdD, as the San Antonio university’s ninth president.

Melby comes to OLLU from Shepherd University in West Virginia where she has served as the vice president for advancement since 2008 and chair of the university’s strategic planning committee, as well as interim vice president for academic affairs and in an executive oversight role in enrollment management. She will assume office in July 2015, succeeding President Jane Ann Slater, CDP, PhD, who has served in the chief executive role since March 2013.

Roy Terracina, chair of the OLLU Board of Trustees, said, “In our national search for a president we sought candidates who possessed experience in academic affairs, student success and fundraising, an understanding of the university’s mission, and a vision for continuing and building upon the momentum established by President Slater through implementation of our strategic plan.

“We found these attributes and more in Dr. Diane Melby. She brings leadership experience at both private and public universities similar in size to OLLU. She also brings perspective on what is happening in higher education nationally and deep experience with retaining and graduating first-generation college students.” 

“It is a great honor to be invited to the OLLU community,” Melby said. “There are many reasons to be excited for OLLU’s future, and I am eager to work with the administration, faculty, staff, students, alumni, Sisters of Divine Providence, and trustees as we write the next chapter for a university that already has made outstanding contributions to higher education in America.”

Mike Edelmann, chair of OLLU’s Search Committee, added, “In addition to Dr. Melby’s broad leadership experience, the search committee was impressed with her warmth, sincerity, interpersonal skills, energy level, and collaborative leadership style. We believe she is the perfect fit for our university.”

In her advancement role at Shepherd University, Melby led the successful completion of a $26 million comprehensive fundraising campaign, developed institutional identity and community relations initiatives, and established key academic programs focused on student success and degree completion.

Prior to joining Shepherd University, Melby served from 2001 to 2004 as the dean of the School of Continuing Education at Shenandoah University in Virginia, establishing undergraduate and graduate programs for professional development and a lifelong learning program for personal enrichment. In 2004, she transitioned to institutional advancement where she led the completion of a $65 million campaign. 

Her career in higher education began at Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia where she built partnerships with schools in the service region to form articulation agreements that focused on increasing matriculation and college attainment, especially of first-generation and at-risk traditionally-aged undergraduate students. Additionally, Melby was instrumental in working with business leaders to identify and develop academic programs in support of key economic sectors, including health care, business, manufacturing, and information technologies.

Melby’s passion for education was fueled by her earliest experience teaching students with severe manifestations of autism. This experience instilled in her a lifelong interest in exploring the learning process and utilizing new methodologies to deliver instruction, and she is ardent about developing structures that support student success. 

A native of New York, Melby completed a bachelor of science at Slippery Rock University, a master of education at James Madison University, and a doctor of education at Nova Southeastern University. She and her husband, Dave, have two adult daughters, Elizabeth and Dana. The Melbys are parishioners of Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.



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