Dr. Mark Lombardi
Dr. Mark Lombardi, Maryville University’s 10th president, leads one of the Midwest’s fastest growing institutions of higher education – and a clarion call for change in academia.
“Higher education is not immune to the tech-driven disruption that continues to upend industries and create new ones,” says Dr. Lombardi, who took the reins at Maryville in 2007. “When everyone has the world’s library in their pockets, institutions of higher learning must evolve to stay relevant in a coming future of robust and innovative ways to learn.”
For Dr. Lombardi, that evolution begins with education’s foundation: students.
Put students first by breaking down elitist barriers to entry, personalize learning to maximize their return on investment (ROI), embrace academic partnerships with employers to ensure transfer of in-demand skills, and adopt a customer-service mindset to deliver a hassle-free experience.
Dr. Lombardi’s student-first approach is driving rapid growth at Maryville, including a significant expansion of online degree programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education named Maryville the third-fastest growing private university in 2018. Enrollment has more than doubled since 2007. The university posts a 97 percent job placement rate and, according to nonprofit Educate to Career, ranks in the top 15% for student ROI.
“We can let the ongoing wave of disruption break over us, or get up and ride it,” says Dr. Lombardi. “At Maryville, we’re doing everything we can to position our students, and our institution, for success in an accelerating world.”
A faculty member, author, fundraiser, administrator and political commentator, Dr. Lombardi’s career in higher education spans nearly 35 years. His fundraising initiatives have raised more than $150 million for projects in the arts, communications, international programs, technology and student services. In addition, Dr. Lombardi has conducted more than 200 interviews for radio and television on educational, political and international issues.
Dr. Lombardi has extensive teaching experience in the field of political science and international relations, and has received numerous awards for teaching excellence at The Ohio State University and the University of Tampa. He earned a Ph.D. and master’s degree in political science and international relations from The Ohio State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Purdue University. He is active with the greater St. Louis community and business organizations locally and nationally.
Dr. Lombardi is the author of three books, including:
“Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Global Issues (10th edition forthcoming)”
“The Unfolding Legacy of 9/11”
“Perspectives on Third World Sovereignty: The Post-Modern Paradox”
Areas of Expertise:
- Higher education innovation and leadership
- Higher education access
- The future of higher education