Dr. Robert A. Scott was appointed by the Adelphi University Board of Trustees as the ninth President and professor of anthropology and sociology in July 2000. Prior to his appointment to this position, he served as President of Ramapo College (New Jersey’s public liberal arts college known as the College of Choice for a Global Education) from 1985-2000 and as leader of two higher education coordinating agencies (New Jersey and Indiana). Dr. Scott holds the Bachelor of Arts degree from Bucknell University (Pennsylvania) and the Ph.D. degree from Cornell University (New York). He is the only person to hold the three top positions in American higher education, head of a public institution, a state coordinating board, and a private university.
Dr. Scott is author or editor of often-cited works in the scholarly and popular media, including more than two hundred essays and articles, as well as nine books and monographs, and host of a regularly televised program entitled, “Exploring Critical Issues,” for which he has earned three “Telly” Awards for excellence in cable television programming. His photography has been exhibited and published.
Dr. Scott has emphasized world affairs at his previous posts as well as at Adelphi University. He is a former member and chair of the American Council on Education’s (ACE) Commission on International Education, a member of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has represented the United States in international negotiations with UNESCO, with the Council of Europe, and with countries in the Asia/Pacific Region. He served as the United States’ delegate to the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education and, in June, 2006, was selected to participate in the International Higher Education Forum held in Strasbourg, France, under the auspices of the Council of Europe. He also has served as invited speaker or participant at conferences in Austria; Canada; the Czech Republic; the United Kingdom, including Britain, Ireland, and Scotland; France; Hong Kong; Indonesia; Italy; Japan; the People’s Republic of China; Portugal; South Korea; Spain; Switzerland, and throughout the United States. He serves on the Advisory Board of American Friends of UNESCO.
During Dr. Scott’s Presidency at Adelphi University, more than 300 new faculty have been appointed and dozens of new programs added; the first new residence hall in thirty-six years was completed to accommodate growing student demand; the new Adele and Herbert J. Klapper Center for Fine Arts for sculpture, ceramics, painting, print-making was opened; alumni contributions rose nearly 700% and annual fundraising results increased by more than 300%. Nearly 500,000 square feet of new and renovated space has been added in recent years, including the Early Learning Center, the Center for Recreation and Sports and related fields and courts, the Performing Arts Center, and a 310-car garage below the varsity field. Nearly 120,000 square feet received LEED certification. Another residence hall with geothermal heating and cooling was completed in June 2011.
Invested funds at Adelphi University have more than doubled. Total enrollment has increased nearly 40 percent, undergraduate enrollment increased by 66 percent and total assets of the University amount to over $400 million, up from $142 million. All measures of quality assurance, including regional and national institutional and academic accreditation, are up to date and strong. Since 2006, Adelphi has been named one of 24 “Best Buys” in private higher education by the “Fiske Guide to Colleges.”
Dr. Scott has built on Adelphi’s rich traditions in undergraduate and graduate education and has been the driving force behind Adelphi’s development as a pioneering private university, drawing upon the liberal arts tradition of a small, personalized education, while also offering nationally-recognized professional programs.
In keeping with his vision of Adelphi as the “engaged” university, Dr. Scott has helped the University deepen its ties with the Long Island community. On-campus cultural events, ranging from timely lectures to art exhibitions and music, dance, and theater performances, attract alumni and area residents. He has also involved Adelphi faculty, students, and the broader community in addressing pressing community issues. He initiated Adelphi’s Vital Signs social health assessment project and the Adelphi Community Fellows Program, and established the University’s Long Island Center for Nonprofit Leadership. Dr. Scott himself is a model of community involvement, writing for Long Island Business News and serving on the boards of the Long Island Association, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Global Kids, Inc. He also was a leader in reforming the G.I. Bill to ensure up-to-date and expanded benefits for today’s members of the armed forces and National Guard. Dr. Scott is a member of The Century Association and the Cornell Club as well as the Council on Foreign Relations.
Since joining Adelphi, he has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Long Islanders by Long Island Business News and was recognized with the 2008 Chief Executive Leadership Award by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II. He has received numerous additional accolades, including: The Association for Commerce Industry and Technology Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Higher Education; the Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Leadership Award; the Garden City Chamber of Commerce Achievement Award; the “David Award” for community service and excelling in one’s profession from Networking Magazine; the Long Island Achievement Award from Public Relations Professionals of Long Island; and the Outstanding Paper Award for Excellence from Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd. in 2003, among others.
Adelphi University is a doctoral level, non-sectarian University comprising eight academic units-the College of Arts and Sciences, the Honors College, the Schools of Business, Education, Nursing and Social Work, the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies and the University Libraries. At its Garden City, New York, location and at its extension sites, the University enrolls close to 8,600 students in over 100 Baccalaureate, Masters, Doctoral, Post-Doctoral and Certificate programs from over 40 states and from more than 57 countries. The University has nearly 100,000 alumni and a heritage that spans three centuries. Under Dr. Scott’s leadership, Adelphi University was elected as an affiliate of the United Nations.