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Presidential Update

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Robert Morris University President Gregory Dell’Omo has withdrawn his name for consideration as the next President of LaSalle University after he and the LaSalle University Board of Trustees failed to come to terms.  

“I wish LaSalle University the very best as their search continues,” said Dell’Omo who has been President at RMU since 2005. “It was gratifying to know that the progress that’s been made here at RMU caught the attention of this institution and led them to invite me into their recruitment process. At this point, I’m glad to get back to work with my great team at RMU to take us to the next level.”

Dell’Omo’s nine years as President of RMU have been marked by growth unparalleled in the University’s 93-year history, as it continued its transformation from a regional, commuter-based institution to a comprehensive residential university that draws full-time and part-time students from, not only the tri-state area, but across the country and around the globe. 

"Greg Dell'Omo is an outstanding university President, and, without question, his leadership and vision have been instrumental in propelling Robert Morris to become a university of choice," said Gary Claus, Chair of the RMU Board of Trustees and a 1974 Robert Morris graduate. 

“RMU’s success story has been noticed by outsiders,” said Claus. “Indeed it was, in part, because of RMU’s rapid rise and strategic growth during Dr. Dell’Omo’s tenure that LaSalle’s Presidential Search Committee contacted Dr. Dell’Omo and convinced him to enter the field of candidates for their presidency. Many colleges and universities have struggled these last several years, but Robert Morris has thrived, thanks to Dr. Dell’Omo’s vision and the hard work and tremendous support of our highly accomplished faculty and staff. RMU is well positioned for the future.”

During Dell’Omo’s presidency, the University has enjoyed a rising academic reputation, dramatically increased the number of students living on campus, and launched a student engagement program that has impacted all aspects of campus life.

Dell’Omo led the University through the completion of its first strategic plan and its first comprehensive capital campaign. The campaign ended in September 2012 and raised $41 million, exceeding its goal, and the university has gone on to raise a total of $45 million. The campaign funded two academic buildings: the School of Business Building and the Wheatley Center, which is home to the School of Communications and Information Systems. The campaign helped to boost RMU’s endowment by more than 60 percent and allowed the University to fund 30 new endowed scholarships and a research center focused on achievement among African American men. 

Perhaps the greatest symbol of the University’s transformation under Dell’Omo’s leadership is the dramatic increase in the number of students living on campus, from 1,140 in 2005 to 2,070 as of the fall of 2013. Fewer than 40 percent of full-time undergraduates lived on campus in 2005, versus nearly 60 percent today. 

At the same time, full-time undergraduate enrollment has grown 34 percent, from 2,928 nine years ago to 3,935 in Fall 2013. Total enrollment for the fall of 2013 was 5,413.

The University also built two new apartment-style residence halls and converted a nearby hotel to student housing. RMU's transformation to a residential campus reflects new campus housing, but also the increased emphasis on student engagement and campus life that is at the heart of Dell’Omo’s legacy. The Student Engagement Program includes the Student Engagement Transcript (SET), which the University instituted in 2008.

Dell’Omo built on RMU’s long tradition of educating nontraditional students and working adults, bringing the University into a new age with the launch of its online degree programs. In just three years online enrollment has climbed to approximately 600 students. Robert Morris has also catered to veterans of the U.S. armed services, becoming one of the first private institutions to participate in the federal Yellow Ribbon Program. Under that program, RMU agrees to cover the difference between the cost of tuition and benefits that eligible veterans receive under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill. Currently 235 veterans and active-duty military personnel are enrolled at Robert Morris.

Dell’Omo also sought to bolster RMU’s academic reputation, and during his tenure the University has strengthened its honors program and placed an increasing emphasis on international education. Among the accreditations and honors that RMU has added since 2005 is AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a distinction enjoyed by only 5 percent of business schools worldwide. RMU also is one of only 25 institutions worldwide to be named a Center of Actuarial Excellence for its actuarial science program.