Dr. Constantine Papadakis, president of Drexel University, has died. He was a longtime member of the board of trustees of Hellenic College and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Read the announcement in the New York Times here.
Read the announcement from Drexel University here.
Read an appreciation in Inside Higher Ed here.
Four years ago I interviewed Dr. Papadakis for the Summer 2005 issue of In Trust. He was unlike any academic I had ever met -- a real "Level 5" leader (to use the words of business guru Jim Collins). He transformed Drexel University by growing its endowment, adding medical and law schools, and building many new buildings. But more importantly, he transformed the university culture by making it more customer-friendly and businesslike. A competitive man, he knew what he was competing for -- students, faculty, rankings, endowment -- and he was driven to achieve.
I shall never forget one thing he told me:
If the board feels that the president is not doing a good job and the objectives of the institution are not being satisfied, the board should have the guts to dismiss the president. Most boards do. That's why the average life of a university president in the United States is, I think, six and a half years, because so many get fired in the first or second year of the presidency.
Read my interview with Constantine Papadakis here.
Constantine Papadakis, may the angels usher you into paradise today. After a lifetime of work, you deserve your rest.