Director, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dominican University of California, 50 Acacia Ave., San Rafael 94901; 415-482-2406; dominican.edu/osher
Professional background: University administrator and Faculty Member
Education: Ph. D., Columbia University; master's degrees from New York University and Harvard; bachelor's at Connecticut College
Tell us about yourself and your company: When I retired from the presidency of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 2006, and moved to California, my plan was to write -- not scholarly books as I had done -- but fiction and biography.
However, in 2007, I was invited to consult on several programs at Dominican University. One of these was the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, at that time a program with about 350 members that was falling between the cracks of administration. One year later I told the president that I would be willing to work full time as the director of OLLI.
OLLI is an academic program founded in 2004 and supported by a generous endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation, the resources of Dominican University, and member donations and tuition. The program offers challenging non-credit liberal arts courses for retired members, taught by experienced, qualified instructors at the intellectual level of a university senior or graduate student.
Is there a major accomplishment in the past year or so that you would like to share?: In the past year, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute recruited more than 300 new members, bringing our total for the year to almost 1,200. For the past two years we have had a growth rate of 33 to 36 percent each year (enrollment begins at zero each summer). This growth enables us to offer more programming and become eligible for further funding.