Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Suite 4000
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)

Donald O'Dowd

black and white headshot of Donald O'Dowd

Donald O’Dowd joined the faculty of the newly established Michigan State University – Oakland (MSU-O) as an associate professor of Psychology in 1960. O’Dowd and David Beardslee, professor of Psychology, founded the department of Psychology. He also served as assistant to the dean of faculty for the Social Sciences during his first year at MSU-O. O’Dowd was appointed dean of Oakland University in 1966, and his title was changed to provost, and then to vice chancellor for Academic Affairs and provost. He also served as the dean of Graduate Study and professor of Psychology.

In 1970, O’Dowd was appointed acting chancellor of Oakland University while the issue of whether Oakland should become independent of Michigan State University was under consideration. O’Dowd was appointed the first president of the independent Oakland University by its charter board of trustees, and served through 1979, when he was designated president emeritus.

O’Dowd was named executive vice chancellor of the State University of New York System in 1980. He was appointed president of the University of Alaska Statewide System of Higher Education in 1984, and remained at that post until 1990, when he retired from full-time university administration.

O’Dowd served two years in the U.S. Army. He holds a master of arts and a Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University. He also holds a bachelor of arts, graduating summa cum Laude, from Dartmouth College and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He currently resides in California.