Dr. Riordan on what it's like to be a Panther, Adelphi's attributes and her favorite (and least favorite) food.
Christine M. Riordan, Ph.D., began her tenure as Adelphi’s 10th president this past July, after serving as provost at the University of Kentucky and, prior to that, as dean of the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. She is an internationally recognized expert and also a frequent speaker on leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and team performance. She has published more than 60 academic and business press articles and has received numerous awards for her academic and practitioner work.
How does it feel to be a Panther?
I love being a Panther. My family and I—and our bulldog Georgia—have had such a warm welcome from Adelphi alumni, faculty, staff and students. We’ve especially enjoyed getting to be part of traditions and events.
What are the most memorable moments from your first few months at Adelphi?
Matriculation stands out as one of my favorite ones. It was especially meaningful to welcome the members of the Class of 2019, who are starting their Adelphi journeys along with me. I’ll always feel a special connection to my first class.
What, in your mind, distinguishes Adelphi from other universities?
Adelphi’s proximity to New York City is a distinct advantage and differentiates us from the other places that I’ve been. We have a modern, lush, beautiful campus right next door to the best city in the world. Also, in their promotional materials, many schools tout the personal connection between faculty and students. At Adelphi, this connection is truly authentic and sets us apart.
What academic opportunities do you see for Adelphi, particularly in the changing landscape of higher education?
We can build on our programs in what I call the core four: arts and humanities, STEM and social sciences, health and wellness, and professional preparation. Increasing student access to relevant, personalized and accessible learning will also be important for Adelphi. Finally, we will also be focusing on globalization as our students must be prepared to lead in a worldwide society.
What do you see as Adelphi’s role in the regional, national and international communities?
Adelphi contributes nearly half a billion dollars to the regional economy through our direct spending and our capital investments. Our dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and eastern Long Island also extend our reach and allow us to impact diverse communities throughout New York. Internationally, we’ve just entered into a partnership that will allow us to recruit in more than 30 countries in the coming year to help bring a more diverse international student body to our campus—one that will equip all of our students to excel in a global society.
You are starting to get to know Adelphi’s alumni. What are your first impressions? What have you been hearing from them?
The alumni that I’ve met are smart, talented and passionate. They’ve also been extremely generous in sharing their thoughts about the University. I hear often about what a personal place this is. Alumni frequently tell me about professors, coaches and staff members who have changed their lives. It is just so encouraging to hear these stories, and I look forward to hearing many more and to getting to know our alumni even better.
What are your top goals for Adelphi in the year ahead?
Our top institutional goals will emerge from the strategic planning process that will get underway in January of 2016. From the feedback and input we’ve gathered so far, expected areas of focus will include strengthening our academic programs, enhancing our university community, expanding our external partnerships, boosting our brand and reputation, further globalizing the University and finding new ways to support student success.
How can alumni help you achieve your goals?
Alumni are our best ambassadors. We depend on our graduates to spread the good news about Adelphi and about their own accomplishments. Our institutional reputation is built on the great outcomes that our alumni are having, and I hope that they will continue to share that good news with us.
Speaking of sharing good news, you are quite active on social media yourself. What is it like to be a higher education leader in the age of social media?
I’m very fortunate to be a university president in the social media age. I’ve gotten to know so many alumni, faculty and student stories through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Social media is just a great way for us all to listen, learn and share.
Favorite food: cheeseburger and fries
Least favorite food: fish
Coffee or Tea: decaffeinated coffee
Instrument you would love to master: voice
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate: all chocolate
What book did you read in in grade school that changed you? My reading primers—See Dick Run, See Jane Run. I learned to read, and never stopped!
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