Diverse background gives EHHS dean tools to succeed

Jenna Hamel

Daniel Mahony had no problem adjusting to Kent State as the new dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

Though it was not a direct path that lead the former associate provost at the University of Louisville to his newly acquired position, Mahony accumulated valuable skills from his previous life experiences.

“When I look at my background in accounting, I have quite a bit of comfort with numbers, which isn’t typical of every dean, and managing budgets is extremely important.”

Mahony began his journey after he finished his undergraduate work in accounting at Virginia Tech.

He worked briefly for the Governor’s office in Richmond, Va., but quickly learned his calling was not in politics. Following a short stint working for an accounting firm in the nation’s capital, Mahony moved back home to work in teaching. But he soon decided it was time to hit the books himself by enrolling at West Virginia University for his Master’s in Sports Management. Mahony worked in the athletic department, and from there went to the University of Cincinnati and worked in the College of Athletics as the assistant ticket manager.

“I got into College Athletics because I thought I was going to clean up College Athletics, and I realized as the assistant ticket manager that wasn’t going as quickly as I hoped,” he said.

Upon receiving his doctorate at Ohio State University and getting married, Mahony picked up once again, only this time farther south to the University of Oklahoma for a year where he completed his dissertation to earn his Ph.D.

Mahony finally settled down in at the University of Louisville, where he spent the next thirteen years as the program director for sports administration. From there, he worked his way up to the associate dean in the College of Education and Human Development and was later promoted to associate provost.

“When I was in Louisville I filled a lot of different roles which gave me a big university-wide perspective so I don’t tend to think in the narrow college mind set but rather the larger global issues that are affecting universities and making decisions in a way that is better ultimately for the university long-term,” Mahony said. “I tend to make fewer decisions that are good for the moment but good for long term.”

Mahony left Louisville to join the Kent State faculty July 1 after replacing Interim Dean Donald Bubenzer, who temporarily took over after Dean David England left in 2007.

The most enjoyable part of his job is meeting with each of the faculty members individually and talking with them about their research and interests.

“We have a really good group and collaborative group of deans across the university, and that is not always true.” Mahony said.

Carolyn Hartman, administrative assistant to the Dean is excited to have Mahony on board.

“Dr. Mahony is a wonderful asset to our College, he is bright, insightful and with his leadership skills he will lead our College forward,” Hartman said.

Despite a very busy summer and first few weeks of the fall semester, Mahony looks forward to developing a plan for the future.

“I think there are a lot of really good things going on in the college that we can keep building on,” Mahony said. “I think the international programs are really exciting as well as the technology, kind of building on the strengths of the college.”

Mahony spends most of his free time with his two children, Elena and Gavin, but does make time for fantasy football in the fall and admits he can be a bit obsessive about it. He also enjoys being closer to his family in New Jersey, finding it easier to travel home on the weekends, something he was unable to do since his graduate studies at West Virginia. The most enjoyable part of the day is his morning workout at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

“It gets me off to a good start and it’s my time to think about the day ahead.” Mahony said. “I feel energized and ready to go.”

Contact College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter Jenna Hamel at [email protected].