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September 13, 2015
Last Thursday Dr. Christopher Howard joined the Robert Morris community to become the 8th president of the university.
Although his term does not begin until February of next year, Howard is eager to move the university forward. He has seen how well Former President Gregory Dell’Omo ran the university and plans to pursue a similar presidency.
“I think our previous president, President Dell’Omo, brought great energy to the job. And I hope I can continue that…,” said Howard.
Howard and his wife, Barbara Noble Howard, also hope to achieve the similar relationship that Dell’Omo and his wife, Polly Dell’Omo, had with the campus community while they were at Robert Morris.
“We anticipate fully (to) follow in the footsteps of the wonderful couple that came before us—the first couple—and being out there,” Howard said.
During the interview process of the presidential search, Dell’Omo had the opportunity to meet Howard. He believes Howard to be an “excellent choice” to be his successor at Robert Morris.
“He is a highly experienced academic leader with impressive academic credentials, a solid track record, and a dynamic personality,” Dell’Omo said in an email statement. “I wish him all the best as he takes RMU to even greater heights and it is personally satisfying for me to know that the university community is in such good hands.”
Throughout Dell’Omo’s presidency, he developed a 5-10-year-plan to better the university. With his departure, the plan is still in effect. Howard intends to “improve and build upon” the plan.
“Well, I think it’s a great jumping off point,” said Howard. “…it’s great common point; a lingua franca for the board, for the faculty, for the staff, for the alumni, and the community and I have no desire to kind of jump in and blow it up.”
Howard believes that currently, Robert Morris is in good condition overall. He wants to come in from the outside and build upon what Dell’Omo left here.
“The good news, again, is the place is in great shape. It’s got really good direction. And now my job is to bring a fresh set of eyes and with the community continue to find that right direction and continue to fine tune it as well.”