The Best is Yet to Come
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
One year ago today, I became the eighth president of Robert Morris University – and what a year it’s been! We announced the UPMC Events Center. We debuted at No. 188 on the U.S. News and World Report rankings of national universities. And we were named among the top 10 percent of universities nationwide for online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News.
My first day in office, however, I put down a marker. For my very first act as president, I signed the American Council on Education’s “Moving the Needle” pledge, committing my efforts so that by 2030, half of all college and university presidents will be women. I did this because the empowerment of women is a strategic priority for RMU, and that predates my arrival. The centerpiece of our efforts is the Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program, and I am proud to serve as a professional mentor for one of the talented students enrolled in that program.
“Empowering Women to Lead in the 21st Century” was a theme of my inauguration on October 8, and to cap off that wonderful day, I moderated a panel discussion by three of my mentors: Donna Auguste, a computer scientist and highly successful technology entrepreneur; Suzanne Nora Johnson, a corporate executive and former vice chair of Goldman Sachs; and Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy, who also was the keynote speaker at the inauguration ceremony.
All this is a natural for RMU, where the deans of each of our five academic schools are women and several members of our Leadership Council and Cabinet are women. Like the rest of the nation, we still have work to do, and I for one am just getting warmed up.