“I always thought I wanted to be both a faculty member and an administrator. I love to teach but I also enjoy influencing the direction of the institution."
Member of Adelphi University’s Profiles in Success program.
Provost at Aurora UniversityMemorable Adelphi professors: Rebecca Curtis, Kate Szymanski, Dave Gorfein
Advice to Adelphi students: “Make the most of your college experience. Get involved in different activities. Be patient. Delay gratification and be prudent with your finances to avoid accumulating too much debt.”
Following in the Family Footsteps
For Dr. Andrew Manion, a career in academia is a family tradition. Dr. Manion earned his undergraduate degree at Saint Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin—the institution at which his father served as president and his mother was a member of the political science faculty.
“I always thought I wanted to be both a faculty member and an administrator. I love to teach but I also enjoy influencing the direction of the institution. It was great to have examples of both in my parents,” he says. “I grew up with both perspectives on higher education.”
Dr. Manion came to Adelphi at the recommendation of his faculty adviser at St. Norbert College. Adelphi psychology faculty member Dr. Michael Leippe, who had previously been at St. Norbert, was awarded a multi-year grant to study child eyewitnesses from the National Science Foundation (NSF). He shared this news with his old St. Norbert colleague, who was Dr. Manion’s adviser, and recommended him to Dr. Leippe as a graduate student. A few weeks later, Dr. Manion began the Ph.D. program in experimental psychology at Adelphi, working with Dr. Leippe on the NSF grant.
“Having grown up in the Albany area, I was familiar with Adelphi and I knew people from high school who had gone there. I was very excited to be going to a relatively small doctoral program and to be supported by a grant to study something as timely and interesting as child eyewitnesses,” he says. This research has produced journal articles, book chapters, and invited presentations.
By the time Dr. Manion was completing his Adelphi education, he was prepared to follow in his parents’ footsteps as he embarked on a faculty career, which soon led to college administration.
He joined the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1989 as an adjunct faculty member in the department of psychology. After two years in this position, just before completing his doctorate from Adelphi, he relocated to the Midwest and stepped into the role of assistant professor of psychology at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (SMU). He had his first administrative assignment there beginning in 1996, as the director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies. He then served as SMU’s associate dean for humanities.
By 1998, he joined Aurora University, a private institution that currently enrolls 2,400 undergraduates and 1,800 graduate students, located in Aurora, the second-largest city in Illinois, just 40 miles from downtown Chicago. “I was attracted to a career advancement opportunity at a private university in the Chicago area,” he says. In a short amount of time, he swiftly rose up through the ranks. After joining Aurora as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he was named vice president for student life in 2000, and then provost in 2001.
During his tenure as provost, Aurora has increased the freshman class from 150 to 500 students and the average ACT by approximately 2 points. The University has improved its retention rate by 12%, introduced an honors program and a study abroad program, started NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and introduced a half dozen new undergraduate majors and several graduate programs.
Dr. Manion is married to Amy Manion, a reference librarian who also works at Aurora University. They have two sons and one daughter. He serves his community on several boards, is active in his church, and enjoys music, sports, and comedy in his free time.
Published July 2012.
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