Constantine “Taki” Papadakis, a civil engineer and construction firm manager who served as president of Drexel University in Philadelphia since 1995, died unexpectedly on April 5 at age 63. The university attributes his death to pulmonary complications.
Papadakis joined Drexel at a time when its enrollment, physical plant and bottom line had sunk to new depths. During his presidency, the university experienced an academic and financial reinvigoration. Papadakis “famously insisted on measurable goals for his managers,” says the university, adding that he was one of higher education’s longest-serving presidents. Replacing Papadakis as interim president is Charles R. Pennoni, Drexel board chairman and chairman of Pennoni Associates Inc., a Philadelphia engineering firm. Papadakis’ presidency followed a 20-year industry management career that began at Bechtel Group Inc., and continued at STS Consultants and Tetra Tech.