Danubius Welcome Rector Steve Michael

Danubius Welcome Rector Steve Michael

Danubius University is exceedingly pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Steve O. MICHAEL as the Rector and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following the approval of the Romanian Ministry of Education and the unanimous recommendations of Danubius University’s Administrative Board and the University Senate. 


Reflecting on this appointment, the President of the Administrative Board, Dr. Andy PUŞCĂ, stated that “we have known Professor Steve O. Michael for over 15 years during which he served the University as the Vice President of the Administrative Board providing annual training to faculty and staff.  He is the first American to lead American students to Danubius University for study abroad when he was the Provost at Arcadia University.  He has been the catalyst behind Danubius University’s international network and recognition.  Personally, I know no one with the level and depth of his knowledge of higher education management, expertise in cross-cultural leadership, and international exposure and recognition than Professor Michael.  We are, indeed, glad to make him a Danubian!” 


Dr. Georgeta MODIGA, the President of the University Senate stated that:  “Professor Steve O. Michael, the new Rector of Danubius University of Galati, has had a long-term relationship with our university. Over the years, he has been close to this institution of higher education and interacted closely with all structures within the University. He has followed the evolution of the institution over the years and is sufficiently familiar with its challenges also from the position of vice-president of the University's Administrative Board, a position that has prepared him to respond both to the challenges and to the perspectives and opportunities of the society in which we live.

DU is on its path to develop critical oversight role similar to US boards of trustees. Given Professor Michael’s experience in this field, he will work on the formation and management of the Board to improve the governance system of the university. He also helped the international recognition of Danubius University of Galati, inviting the university's management to be part of the Association for the Global Advancement of Universities and Colleges (AGAUC). The AGAUC conference took Danubius University leaders to China, where the University was invited to join AUAP.

The only successful major study abroad program that brought American students to Danubius University was under his leadership when he was Provost of Arcadia University. As an indication of his affection and devotion to the institution, all of his activities, including ongoing consultations with the university management, workshops and personnel training, as well as the building of partnerships, have been done up to now with the aim of ensuring an international development and visibility for our university, both for attracting students and for carrying out common research projects and exchange of expertise.

For all this and as a recognition of his years of work in higher education and of devotion to the countries around the Black Sea, this highly experienced and appreciated academician of higher education was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of Danubius University.

As President of the Senate, I send sincere congratulations and thanks for the determination and responsibility with which he undertook the task of bringing his leadership theories and thirst for transformation to Danubius University of Galati.  I firmly believe that only through a common, coordinated effort can we achieve progress, as we all want all colleagues, teaching staff, students to be involved and leave their marks on the development of our university!”


Noting the importance of having an American Rector, Gabriel NEAGU, Student Union President remarked that “Professor Steve is an awesome person, close to the students. The students love meeting him in the university due to his great personality.”


Speaking on behalf of the Staff, Ana-Iuliana MIHAI, the University Chief of Staff, stated: “Danubius University is today at a time when it is analyzing its full potential towards fulfilling its mission and vision, namely that of being a Romanian university, in a European culture, in which the American experience of educational management is being introduced, through the input brought by Dr. Steve O. Michael, an American leader in education who joined our team as Vice-President of the Administrative Board, more than 10 years ago.

Dr. Michael’s leadership and contribution have helped Danubius on its journey to reshaping its mission, values and strategy. We are grateful to have him as Rector of Danubius University and we truly appreciate the service he provided to both our academic and support staff, as well as to our students and alumni in the past years. He also helped us understand that success for Danubius will be achieved through the combination of unconstrained visioning, thoughtful planning, meticulous execution, and coordinated messaging.”


On his part, Dr. Steve O. MICHAEL, thanked the University leadership and community for the confidence and the opportunity to serve, and expressed his gratitude to the late Dr. Benone Pusca, the founder of Danubius University, for his vision and legacy.  “My love for Romania and Eastern Europe in general compels me to accept this opportunity at the most difficult time in the history of the University given the post-COVID-19 pandemic challenges and the challenges of managing a private university in a national higher education environment relatively new to the private higher education sector.  While I certainly cannot underestimate these challenges or estimate how long I can devote to this task, I am optimistic that with the dedication of DU’s leadership, faculty, staff, and students, and the commitment of the people of Galati and Braila region, the best days of the University are ahead of us.”


Dr. MICHAEL is a highly respected international higher education scholar with a proven record of leadership at Kent State University, Arcadia University, and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.  He was a British-Canadian Commonwealth Scholar and an American Council on Education (ACE) Scholar at Carnegie Mellon University (USA), University of Bath, and City University of London in United Kingdom and one of the principal founders and pioneers of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), Association of Chief Academic Officer (ACAO), and the Association for the Global Advancement of Universities and Colleges. 

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