Gerald Dial has presided over his last board of trustees meeting at Troy University.
The longtime Troy trustee and former state senator has turned the gavel over to Beasley Allen partner Gibson Vance after eight years as board president that saw substantial growth for the university.
“He has served the university well and demonstrated through practical leadership how to pull people together,” Troy chancellor Jack Hawkins said of Dial. “His leadership over the last 20 years on the board has been extraordinary.”
Hawkins credited Dial, at least in part, for establishing an environment on the board that put students first and eliminated much of the in-fighting and scandal that affects so many other university trustee boards in the state.
“In my opinion, we have the most effective board of trustees in the state of Alabama,” Hawkins said. “That’s due in no small part to the leadership of the last two presidents, and that includes Sen. Dial.”
In his time on the board, and as president, Troy has experienced significant growth and change. Hawkins noted that Dial led the committee that was formed back in 2005 that was in charge of consolidating Troy’s three campuses — in Troy, Dothan and Montgomery. That included implementing a single curriculum on all three campuses and using the same branding campaigning for all three.
“Over the last 10 years, that consolidation has saved Troy University more than $20 million,” Hawkins said.
In addition, Dial was a leader in pushing Troy to begin its first doctoral program, and then to expand and implement two more doctoral programs.
But most importantly to Hawkins is Dial’s loyalty to the university and his loyalty to his friends.
“It’s not often in the cutthroat worlds of education policy and politics that you can find someone to be a loyal and true friend for more than 40 years,” Hawkins said. “But I have found that in Sen. Dial. He has been devoted to this university and I am proud to still call him a friend after all this time.”