Hello and welcome to the home of the Colonials! I’m Greg Dell’Omo, president of Robert Morris University.
This has been a landmark year at RMU, and we are now at a pivotal moment in the 93-year history of the institution. In the fall we welcomed the largest freshman class in our history, approximately 980 students, raising total enrollment to 5,413. That includes nearly 1,000 graduate students enrolled in more than 30 master’s, doctoral, and certificate programs. On top of that, we have more students than ever living on campus, 2,070.
During the current academic year we launched the Robert Morris University Polling Institute Powered by Trib Total Media, which conducts national and regional opinion polls on current affairs in areas of interest and expertise to RMU faculty. We built a new state-of-the art fitness center and dining facility at Yorktown Hall, our largest residence hall; we renovated and expanded the RMU Library, and opened a new Student Health Center – to name but a few recent campus improvements.
Our success is no accident. We charted it in a five-year strategic plan, which the university completed in 2013. We achieved record enrollment growth and fundraising, adding new degree programs and facilities. We increased academic rigor and earned all relevant accreditations. We now draw students not only from across the country but around the globe. (Did I mention that international enrollment also is at record levels?)
We attribute this success to our value proposition: Rigorous academics with a robust student engagement program in a 24/7 living + learning campus environment, at an affordable cost and with excellent outcomes – namely, our 93 percent placement rate.
Now we are putting the finishing touches on our next strategic plan, which will carry the university through 2019. A major goal of the next plan will be to build stronger ties between our academic programs and our Student Engagement Program so that the activities students complete toward their Student Engagement Transcript are not just personally enriching but allow them to demonstrate their professional knowledge to prospective employers and graduate schools.
We also plan to build on our burgeoning online degree programs, which now enroll more than 600 students. In this we follow in our long tradition of providing educational opportunities to working adults, including veterans of the armed services, who we serve through the RMU VETS Center. All of our graduate degree programs are tailored to the needs of working professionals, and recent additions to these programs include our Principal Certification Program and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program.
In the coming months and years, we look forward to improving facilities for our 16 NCAA Division I sports teams, especially given the recent success of our corporate sponsorship and athletic fundraising endeavors. We look forward to expanding educational opportunities for diverse groups through The Uzuri Think Tank and our new Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program.
All told, this is a thrilling time to be a part of the Robert Morris community. I want to thank everyone – students, staff, faculty, alumni, and donors – who have played a part in our success. And I invite the rest of you to join us for the ride.