Education magazine honors Houshmand as “President of the Year”

Education magazine honors Houshmand as “President of the Year”


The online magazine Education Dive this month named Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand “President of the Year” in a feature-length editorial that recognized many of the hallmarks of his time in office, from a commitment to strictly limiting any rise in undergraduate tuition and fees to his passion for supporting students in need with his eponymous line of hot sauces.

Importantly, the magazine also noted that under Houshmand, Rowan’s seventh president, the University has flourished, including a huge increase in overall enrollment and numerous measures that expand access to a high quality, affordable four-year degree.

Under Houshmand, Education Dive noted, “enrollment rose nearly 60% since 2012 to 19,465 students in the fall of 2018.” Since 2009, editors wrote, underrepresented students' share of the student body doubled to 30% in 2018, the University improved its six-year graduation rates, “and its first-time student retention rate is a few percentage points above the national average.”

Education Dive cited the more than $30,000 in emergency scholarship funding raised through sales of Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce. It also noted that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredits Rowan, reported in its March 2019 evaluation that, under Houshmand, Rowan has become an “exceptionally innovative, entrepreneurial, and nimble” university.

“In the time since its last full review, in 2009,” the magazine quoted Middle States, the university has ‘undergone remarkable and dramatic positive change’ with ‘strong, transparent and stable leadership.’”

In an interview with Education Dive, Houshmand said his charge is simple, even if the work involved is not.

“How do I make sure to provide affordable and accessible education to anybody who seeks it?” he said. “Irrespective of their academic background or irrespective of their financial well-being, we believe everybody deserves education.”

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