Office of the President: Robert Morris University Office of the President | Robert Morris University



Hello, and welcome to the home of the Colonials from David Jamison, interim president and provost at Robert Morris University. It is my pleasure to introduce to you Dr. Christopher B. Howard, whom the Board of Trustees has named the eighth president of Robert Morris University. Dr. Howard, currently president of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, will join RMU on Feb. 1, 2016.

Dr. Howard is a distinguished educator, public servant, and decorated veteran of the U.S. Air Force Reserve who has previously worked for General Electric and Bristol-Meyers Squibb. He holds degrees from the United States Air Force Academy, Harvard University, and Oxford University. Throughout his varied and accomplished career, Dr. Howard has demonstrated a commitment to service and mentorship. He is, in the words of Gary Claus ’74, chair of the RMU Board of Trustees, a perfect fit for Robert Morris.

What’s more, Dr. Howard joins at RMU at the perfect time. Under our previous president, Gregory G. Dell’Omo, the university experienced 10 years of unparalleled growth. We completed our transformation from a commuter business school to a comprehensive, residential university with nationally acclaimed degree programs across our five academic schools. Full-time undergraduate enrollment climbed 35 percent, and residential enrollment grew a whopping 75 percent. The university completed two new academic buildings, added three residence halls, completed a record $41 million capital campaign, and made engaged learning the hallmark of every RMU degree.

But that was just a warm-up. Our dedicated faculty, staff, and senior administrators are eager to work with Dr. Howard to build on our most recent achievements. These include:

  • The RMU Gallup Survey, which showed that Robert Morris graduates are more likely to be working full time and more likely to be engaged in their jobs than their peers nationwide.
  • The phased opening of Scaife Hall, the new home for the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, a 30,000-square-foot facility that will house classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and the Regional Research and Innovation in Simulation Education Center.
  • The College Affordability Academy™,  which Wendy Beckemeyer, vice president for enrollment management, developed to make the college financing system as transparent as possible for prospective students and to help families make wise financial choices.
  • The School of Education and Social Sciences joined the NEA Academy, which provides tuition discounts for members of the National Education Association enrolling in online graduate degree programs. We hope to attract national interest in our online Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership.
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program was reaccredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).  The program was launched in 2008, and this was its first full 10-year accreditation by CCNE. The Doctor of Nursing Practice Program currently has 116 students enrolled from across the United States.

And that’s not all. Once Scaife Hall is completed in the spring, the School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science will take over the John Jay Center, which it now shares with the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Those are RMU’s fastest-growing schools, too big now for their shared space. Plans also are underway for an events center that would be home to RMU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and women’s volleyball team, and which could host many other events, including commencement, concerts, and outside meetings.

It is easy to see how Robert Morris attracted a dynamic, high-energy leader like Dr. Howard to be its next president. Between now and February, I will continue to work to advance the interests of the university in every way I can, and to prepare with the rest of the leadership team and the faculty and staff to help our new president take the university to even higher levels of achievement.

Go Colonials!