Dr. Mark Lombardi
Mark Lombardi, PhD, has served as president of Maryville University since 2007. In that time, Maryville has achieved unprecedented growth and earned national distinction for leading a digital revolution in higher education.
Dr. Lombardi is the tenth president named since the institution’s founding in 1872. He is also the author or co-author of multiple books, the most recent being Pivot: A Vision for the New University (2019).
Leading The Digital Revolution In Higher Education
For nearly 15 years, Dr. Lombardi has provided visionary leadership for Maryville University. Nationally, he is recognized as a thought leader in higher education and is frequently called upon to discuss Maryville University’s significant advances in educational access, technology, and partnerships, as well as developing an individualized path for students.
By focusing on innovation and building cooperative relationships with leading corporations across an array of industries, Dr. Lombardi believes that schools and universities can create mutually beneficial relationships that accelerate new learning modalities, rewrite the future of education, and prepare the workforce of tomorrow.
Personal Statement About Higher Education
“I believe in innovative higher education, which removes barriers to learning and creates greater access to education for all students. At Maryville, we are creating a model to transform the future of higher education at a pace more common in the entrepreneurial world than in academia. Our efforts focus on putting the student at the center of the learning process. We not only tailor academic experiences based on students’ abilities and learning styles. We also deliver proven graduation and career placement outcomes.”
During Dr. Lombardi’s tenure, enrollment at Maryville University has more than tripled. The student body comprises more than 10,500 students from all 50 states and 56 countries. The Chronicle of Higher Education named Maryville the 4th fastest-growing private university in the nation in 2021, and U.S. News & World Report has previously named Maryville the No. 1 Overperforming University in the United States.
In addition, Maryville University is an Apple Distinguished School and has been recognized for its Digital World program, which gives students the opportunity to personalize their education in an enhanced technology environment. This award was first granted to Maryville for 2016-18 and then renewed for 2018-21 and 2021-24.
Additional accolades and achievements under Dr. Lombardi’s leadership include:
- Academic recognition: Six academic programs are ranked nationally for excellence.
- Career outcomes: 98% of Maryville’s traditional graduates, as well as 96% of Maryville’s online undergraduate program graduates, have a job or enroll in advanced education programs within six months of graduation.
- Student value: Maryville has been ranked in the top 25% of universities nationwide for ROI as determined by Educate to Careers.
- Personal distinction: Lombardi was honored with the NCAA Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence for the past four consecutive years, including one year in which Maryville was the only school in the U.S. with a 100% student-athlete graduation rate.
The University also has deep strategic partnerships with corporate entities such as Apple, Salesforce, Pearson, and Soul Machines.
For nearly four decades at three different institutions, Dr. Lombardi has served as a faculty member, department chair, director of international programs, vice president for academic affairs, provost, and president. He has also served as executive director of the U.S.-Africa Education Foundation.
Dr. Lombardi has significant teaching experience in U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Soviet relations, African politics, and global issues. He was a tenured full professor at the University of Tampa.
Dr. Lombardi has also given more than 200 speeches and interviews to domestic and international audiences on leadership, innovation, the future of higher education, and the international political scene. He is also the author or co-author of multiple books, the most recent being Pivot: A Vision for the New University (2019).
Dr. Lombardi earned his doctorate and master’s degree in political science and international relations from The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s in political science from Purdue University.
Dr. Lombardi currently serves as the chair of the St. Louis Sports Commission. He also serves as the chair of the Board of Governors NCAA Committee to Promote Equity and Inclusion, as well as being a longtime mentor in the NCAA Pathways program. Additionally, he serves on the Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents (chair, 2013-17).
Previously, he served as a board member with the Lifelong Vision Foundation, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Wells Fargo, the Executive Committee of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the Foreign Affairs Council, and the U.S.-Africa Education Foundation.
Notable Publications and Media Placements
Dr. Lombardi is the author or co-author of four books and has contributed to one other:
- Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Global Issues (10th edition 2019)
- The Unfolding Legacy of 9/11
- Perspectives on Third World Sovereignty: The Post-Modern Paradox
- Pivot: A Vision for the New University, Personal Statement About Higher Education (co-author)
- President to President: The Digital Transformation Age Means Personalized Learning for All (contributing author)
Additionally, Dr. Lombardi has appeared in interviews and authored articles for prominent national media outlets such as MSNBC, Business Insider, and Cheddar, in addition to multiple higher education industry publications. He is also a regular contributor to the St. Louis Business Journal and has been featured numerous times within local St. Louis media outlets.
Areas of Expertise
- Higher education leadership
- Creating a culture of innovation in higher education
- Higher education access
- The future of higher education
- Diversity in higher education
- Managing higher education to fiscal stability
- Community outreach
- Student-centered learning