NJBIZ recognizes Houshmand, Reboli and Cavalieri among the top educators in state

NJBIZ recognizes Houshmand, Reboli and Cavalieri among the top educators in state


NJBIZ this week released its list of New Jersey’s top education leaders, naming Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand #3 and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University Dean Annette Reboli #6 out of the top ten in New Jersey.

The weekly newsmagazine also recognized Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Dean Thomas Cavalieri in its 2022 NJBIZ Education Power 50 issue.

NJBIZ noted, in particular, Rowan’s explosive growth since Houshmand became the University’s seventh president.

“Since Houshmand began leading Rowan in 2012, the school has experienced remarkable growth with enrollment rising from 11,000 students that year to 23,000 students in fall 2021,” editors wrote. “Houshmand’s hallmark is his ability to connect with students, alumni, faculty and stakeholders while bringing an entrepreneurial approach to higher education, which focuses on goals of increasing access, improving quality, ensuring affordability and promoting economic development.”

In August, the newspaper ROI-NJ named Houshmand the most influential higher ed leader in the state.

NJBIZ editors wrote that Rowan, an R-2 “high research” nationally ranked university, has transformed dramatically under Houshmand.

“Under his watch, Rowan has evolved into a rising Carnegie-classified national research university with two medical schools and, soon, the state’s first veterinary school. He has guided a number of partnerships and development, including Rowan Boulevard, a collaboration between the school, private developers and the Borough of Glassboro, that has created a vibrant downtown with housing, retail, restaurants and academic space.”

NJBIZ noted massive physical and programmatic changes under Houshmand, including “$1.5 billion in university-related construction projects with another $1 billion in additional construction planned over the next five years. Rowan has raised $155 million in new gifts and pledges throughout his tenure in charge. He also created a Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to increase access and quality while continuing to expand the diversity of Rowan’s enrollment.”

CMSRU began in 2012 as a partnership between Rowan and Cooper University Health Care. Within just ten years of its founding, NJBIZ noted, the school is already fulfilling its mission of providing more physicans to help stanch a predicted shortage in the state.

“In May, more than 100 graduates earned their medical degrees from Cooper Medical School of Rowan University where Reboli is dean,” the editors wrote. “The group was the seventh to be recognized by the school during the commencement ceremony—and its largest class of medical doctors to date… The size of the class is important. According to the New Jersey Hospital Association, New Jersey has the third-highest percentage of active physicians over the age of 60 and is fifth lowest nationally for those under 40.”

The magazine noted innovative degree programs at CMSRU as helpful in feeding a pipeline to educate more doctors, such as “its accelerated 3+4 BS-MD initiative, which allows high school seniors the opportunity to complete their undergrad degree in three years at Rowan University before embarking on their medical education at CMSRU in the fourth year—and cuts the total degree process down from the standard eight to an overall seven-year-journey.”

NJBIZ likewise noted Cavalieri’s long leadership of SOM as both its dean and a faculty member.

“He was founding director of the Center of Aging – which grew to become the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology-New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at Rowan – and, under his guidance, the school has been recognized for more than 15 years by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best schools for geriatric medical education.”

Rowan, the editors noted, is expanding access to education, medical care and research opportunities on a number of fronts, including through a unique and transformative partnership with Virtua Health “to create a new academic health system and to further distinguish South Jersey as a regional hub for innovation, research and clinical discovery.”