Hampden-Sydney president leaving to lead Robert Morris University
Hampden-Sydney’s president Christopher Howard is leaving to become president of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh. Howard will start his new position Feb. 1, according to a news release issued by RMU.
RMU is a private college with 5,000 students.
RMU’s former President Gregory G. Dell'Omo left in June to become the president of Rider University in New Jersey. Since then, RMU has been led by its provost, David Jamison.
Howard became president of Hampden-Sydney in 2009, becoming the college’s first black president. The private, liberal arts university enrolled 1,103 students last fall, according to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.
Since Howard became president of Hampden-Sydney, enrollment has grown and the school has jumped 17 spots in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, the largest jump among any Top 100 liberal arts colleges.
Howard was picked from nationwide candidates. Richard Harshman, vice chair of the RMU Board of Trustees and chair of the Board's Presidential Search Committee, said Howard rose to the top of a list of finalists because of his vision, energy and charisma, as well as his record of success at Hampden-Sydney.
Howard previously was vice president for leadership and strategic initiatives at the University of Oklahoma, and he has worked for General Electric's Corporate Initiatives Group and for Bristol-Myers Squibb.
He also served as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve, and earned a Bronze Star for military service in Afghanistan. He served as U.S. Reserve Air Attache to Liberia and as intelligence operations and places officer with the Joint Special Operations Command.