Experiences of new system president expected to benefit system

Come March, Daniel Mahony will officially be trading in his Winthrop University Eagles gear for Cougar red and black and Saluki maroon.

Mahony’s appointment of system president was officially approved during Thursday’s board meeting. However, in many ways his work has already begun.

Throughout his time at the University of Louisville, Kent State and Winthrop University Mahony was involved in strategic planning processes. At Louisville, Mahony was chair of the committee that developed metrics to assess the success of the plan,as dean of the School of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State he developed as plan for the school and as president of Winthrop he implemented a new plan.

“When I was the associate provost at the University of Louisville, [it] was my responsibility to strategic plan and developing the metrics that we would use to assess whether we were successful in the strategic plan … the whole metrics system was under my office, so I was able to create that there,” Mahony said. “When I went to Kent State, the first thing I did there was create a strategic plan … Likewise at Winthrop, when I got there, we created a new strategic plan.”

According to Mahony, much of the model used at Winthrop will be applicable to the SIU system, and in turn he plans to start this process soon. He said he hopes to get the strategic plan finalized by the beginning of Fall 2020.

“One thing we did at Winthrop that was really helpful for us to get moving quickly on developing a strategic plan was we put together multiple working groups that looked at specific areas and came up with some plans for that,” Mahony said. “I hope to get those started in January so as soon as we get back from break we can start to work on some of the working groups, so when I arrive in March they’re already well along in their work and so we really can have a good strategic plan and start the academic year and get that done as soon as possible.”

Before Friday’s press conference, Mahony met with state legislators for lunch.

“Our lunch today was with the legislators in this area, so we were having lunch with the senators and state representatives, so it was an opportunity for me to create some contacts immediately with the local legislators which will continue even through the next few months but obviously once I get here as well,” Mahony said.

Mahony is no stranger to working with legislators, something Board Chair Phil Gilbert expressed several times is a necessary trait for a new system president to possess. Mahony said his position as the dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services at Kent State allowed him to work closely with legislators, as well as other positions he’s held across the states.

Mahony’s living plans also coincide with the need for a close relationship with state legislators, as he eventually plans to move to Springfield, Illinois.

Before settling in Springfield, Mahony plans to live in Carbondale, Illinois,  and then Edwardsville, allowing him to get involved in both campuses and their surrounding communities.

“We’ll start initially in Carbondale and I’ll move there in March and teach a class there in the fall,” Mahony said. “Then, I plan to move here to Edwardsville and live here for six to seven months, teach a class and get very involved with the campus here and the community here and then ultimately relocate to Springfield on a more permanent basis in about a year and a half.”

Mahony hopes to teach students about college athletics, specifically its history and current issues athletic departments face. His experience with collegiate athletics goes well beyond teaching — during his time at the University of Louisville, he was chair of the department of Health Promotion, Physical Education and Sports Studies, he is the former president of the North American Society for Sports Management and he received a master’s in sports management from Ohio State University.

For more information on Mahony’s life before SIU, visit https://siue.edu/news/2019/12/Mahony-SIU-System-President.shtml.

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