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VCU Board of Visitors Names Next President - From Tom Rosenthal

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VCU Board of Visitors Names Next President - From Tom Rosenthal

Post  driverx77 on Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:17 pm

It is my distinct pleasure and honor to announce that the Board of Visitors has appointed Michael Rao, Ph.D., as VCU’s next president and president of the VCU Health System. He also will be a tenured professor in the School of Education.

Dr. Rao, 42, comes to VCU with the experience of three successful presidencies at universities of increasing size and complexity. I know that members of the Board, the Presidential Search Committee and others representing university groups who have met Mike are excited about the energy, enthusiasm and intelligence he will bring to VCU as its fifth president.

The Board established an extensive process that received considerable input from our entire university community about the future direction of this institution and the type of individual who would best be able to lead us to achieve our mission and vision. Under the very able leadership of former Rector Ed Bersoff, the Search Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University, sought candidates who could meet this challenge. Mike was recommended unanimously by the committee. The Board’s decision to appoint Mike as VCU’s next president also was unanimous.

Mike brings a broad range of educational experience to VCU, including experience as the president of a large doctoral research university, university chancellor, president of a two-year college and a college dean. He also has served in the private sector as a higher education academic program planner.

Most recently, he has served as president and professor of Central Michigan University since 2000 and is one of the three longest-serving presidents among Michigan’s 15 public universities. Before CMU, Mike was chancellor of Montana State University-Northern and president of Mission College in Santa Clara, California.

In less than six years combined, he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Florida.

During exhaustive reference checks with Mike’s colleagues, the three adjectives used most to describe him were energetic, intelligent and transformative. I am convinced that he will be a catalyst to build on the outstanding legacy that Dr. Trani will leave, assuring that we continue to meet the needs of our community for world class education, research and patient care.

Mike will be coming back to VCU in a few weeks to meet with the university and health system communities at open meetings on both campuses. I am sure you will find him to be as impressive as the Board and Search Committee members found him to be.

Mike will be moving to Richmond with his wife, Monica, a professional watercolorist and graphic designer, and their two sons, Miguel, 9, and Aiden, 9 months old.

Please join me in giving the entire Rao family a warm welcome to VCU and to the Richmond community.

Sincerely,

Tom Rosenthal
Rector

driverx77

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