Ronald B. Lee ’67, chair of the Adelphi University Board of Trustees, today announced that the board has renewed and extended the contract of President Christine M. Riordan, Adelphi’s first woman president.

Ronald B. Lee ’67, chair of the Adelphi University Board of Trustees, today announced that the board has renewed and extended the contract of President Christine M. Riordan, Adelphi’s first woman president.

“Adelphi University has a long and cherished history, and our board recognizes the tremendous improvements and progress we have made over the last four years—in almost every measurable way—with the clear vision and remarkable leadership of our 10th president, Dr. Christine Riordan,” said Lee. “Upon her arrival in 2015, she led our community on the remarkable development of Momentum: The Strategic Plan for Adelphi University, 2015–2021. Dr. Riordan is also a strong and positive role model for our community members and beyond.”

When President Riordan was appointed in July 2015, she began her presidency by working with colleagues across the University to create a road map for the University’s transformation by 2021—including bold goals in six areas: academics, student success, diversity and inclusion, community engagement, financial and operational strength, and national reputation.

Many of the milestones have already been reached. This year, Adelphi earned five 2020 awards from U.S. News & World Report, including Best College in National Universities and Best College for Social Mobility. In just four years, Adelphi has increased its enrollment by 12 percent, launched 17 innovative new degree programs, welcomed the four most diverse classes in its history, and won numerous national awards. In 2019, Adelphi had the largest number of applications in its 123-year history.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve as Adelphi’s president and to witness the devotion, determination and passion of our community to undertake an astounding transformation in just these past four years,” said Dr. Riordan. “Being part of Adelphi’s growing success is among my proudest endeavors, and I am deeply grateful to our board of trustees for their confidence in the goals I set for our University. I am also in awe of the incredible collaboration and sincere engagement of our community. Together, we will continue building on the dramatic momentum that our faculty, staff, trustees, alumni and students have created together.”

Dr. Riordan said, “I am excited for the celebration of Adelphi’s 125th anniversary in 2021 and the next phase of our strategic plan for the University. We will continue driving world-class academics and research, exemplary inclusion and social justice, deep community engagement, and inspiring innovation and growth.”

“Our board of trustees is extending Dr. Riordan’s tenure with great confidence in the remarkable momentum she started,” said Chair Lee. “We are excited about her plans to continue driving growth, success and pride for our 116,000 proud alumni, outstanding faculty and staff, and current and future students.”

“Her passion for Adelphi is powerful—she is already envisioning how we will harness the opportunities of the coming years and deliver on the future we envision. Given the tumultuous times ahead in all areas, including higher education, we are confident that we have an intelligent, strategic and collaborative leader that will work with our community to successfully face all challenges ahead.”

Highlights of President Riordan’s tenure at Adelphi University include the following, for each Momentum goal:

We are building on a world-class academic experience.

  • The launch of 17 innovative new degree programs, including 10 graduate programs in healthcare, business and STEM fields essential to our future career landscape
  • A dramatic 12 percent increase in enrollment
  • A successful University reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, with commendations
  • The launch of an internationalization strategy for the University
  • An improvement in the quality of programs and learning outcomes for our students, including license pass rates in many areas
  • The design and implementation of a new and complex personalized enrollment initiative, producing the four largest entering first-year classes in Adelphi’s history and earning the prestigious Eduventures Innovation Award, one of six national winners
  • Enrollment of the four most diverse classes in the University’s history

We are relentlessly dedicated to student success.

  • Establishment of the President’s Student Success Scholarship in 2018 by President Riordan, supported by funding from all President’s Galas going forward, to help Adelphi juniors and seniors who face financial challenges reach their graduation
  • The opening of the Panther Pantry in 2018 to address food insecurity on campus and beyond, with a compassionate and innovative online system that allows for anonymity
  • Launching Adelphi’s Hispanic Community Partnership Program, our first-ever college readiness program for Hispanic high school seniors, offering a free, four-day on-campus experience, and financial literacy training
  • Achieving a 95 percent placement rate for both undergraduate and graduate students, due to our increased focus on career placement and success for our students
  • Receiving a 2019 Eduventures Innovation Award for our First-Year Mentoring Initiative, one of four nationwide winners
  • Achieving recognition by College Factual for 20 Adelphi programs that are top ranked or in the top 10 percent of highest-paid graduates in their 2020 nationwide rankings

We are a model of diversity and inclusion.

  • Establishing Adelphi’s first Office of Diversity and Inclusion and appointment of the University’s inaugural Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Achieving an 18 percent increase in underrepresented populations among Adelphi’s total student body
  • Increasing the percentage of new hires who are people of color from 22 percent to 33 percent
  • Growing diversity University-wide by increasing the diversity of our full-time staff from 23 percent to 27 percent, of our full-time faculty from 23 percent to 26 percent and of our total domestic student body from 38 percent to 42 percent
  • Receiving a Premier Campus designation and 4.5 stars (out of 5) from the Campus Pride Index for our commitment to inclusion of LGBTQ+ students and Gold Medallion status from LGBT SportSafe for our athletic department’s commitment to diversity

We are a powerfully connected university.

  • Creating the University’s first Women’s Leadership Conference in 2017 and bringing it to growth and prominence in 2018 and 2019, involving more than 300 members of our community
  • Reengaging alumni and bringing home 1,000 to 3,000 participants at three annual Spirit Weekends since 2017
  • Establishing a partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory that led to an Adelphi minor in scientific computing, the first in New York state
  • The launch of President Riordan’s Momentum Tour, which brought her across the nation to reconnect alumni and share University news

We have advanced our financial strength and operational excellence.

  • The turnaround of a 2014 operating deficit of $500,000 to a more than $11 million operating surplus in 2019
  • Establishment of an Operational Excellence Council, Office of Risk Management and Sustainable Campus Committee to increase the University’s efficiency, environmental conscientiousness, foresight and mindfulness
  • Increasing the University’s endowment by more than $20 million, from $166 million in 2015 to more than $189 million in 2019
  • Raising more than $30.6 million in private gifts over the last four years, an increase of 30 percent over the previous four years of fundraising
  • Raising New York state funds exceeding $14.8 million in the last four years for campus facilities projects, including renovations of science, research and teaching labs, the construction of an Innovation Center, and the renovation of Adelphi’s nearly 50-year-old Ruth S. Harley University Center
  • Increasing external funds raised for the University by 96 percent—including private and state funds totaling more than $45 million over the last four years, compared with $23 million in the previous four
  • Implementation of a responsive data analytics dashboard for more transparent operations

We are becoming a well-known and widely recognized university. 

  • Achieving two consecutive Inspiring Programs in STEM Awards in 2018 and 2019 from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for our advancement of STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) by underrepresented students
  • Receiving two consecutive Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Awards from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in 2018 and 2019, recognizing Adelphi among the top 2 percent of American universities that demonstrate a truly outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion
  • Being named a Career Development College of Distinction in two consecutive years, 2018–2019 and 2019–2020
  • Significantly increasing all national rankings and recognition as a 2019 S. News & World Report Best College, a 2019 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Top U.S. College, a 2020 Forbes Top College and a 2020 Princeton Review Green College
  • Ranking of Adelphi’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business as a 2020 Princeton Review Best Business School for its MBA and the introduction of the new Willumstad Winning Edge Program for undergraduates

» The full biography of Dr. Riordan may be viewed here.

For further information, please contact:

Todd Wilson
Strategic Communications Director 
p – 516.237.8634
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