As of the 2016-17 academic year, Eric Spina became the 19th president of the University of Dayton, a private research university with Catholic Marianist traditions. He is only the second lay leader in the 165-year history of the school.
Spina attended Carnegie Mellon University for his undergraduate degree and in 1988 earned a Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton. That year he joined the faculty in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University and came to focus on fluid dynamics, especially the physics of high-speed turbulent layers. In addition, he had a leading role in developing university and state initiatives in indoor environmental quality and environmental quality systems. Spina was at Syracuse for 27 years, nine of which he served as vice chancellor and provost.