The Rise of Roosevelt University: Presidential Reflections

The Rise of Roosevelt University: Presidential Reflections

The Rise of Roosevelt University: Presidential Reflections

The Rise of Roosevelt University: Presidential Reflections

Synopsis

Underscoring professional and educational issues pertinent to higher learning at universities across the country, Theodore L. Gross's memoir of his years in academia chronicles his successful fourteen-year presidency at Chicago's Roosevelt University, a period of leadership that resulted in an upsurge of fund-raising, sharp increases in enrollment and endowment, and the transformation of an urban campus into a metropolitan university.

Beginning with a description of his childhood and adolescent education and experiences, Gross recalls his years as a faculty member and academic administrator at the City College of New York from 1958 to 1978, when the college was moving from selective admissions to open enrollment. He also served in administrative positions at Penn State University and SUNY Purchase before accepting the Roosevelt presidency in 1988. Focusing on the tension between the promise of open admissions and aspirations of academic excellence, The Rise of Roosevelt University: Presidential Reflections relates Gross's perceptions of the failure of open admissions at CCNY and his resolution to learn from those mistakes while at Roosevelt.

Drawing on private correspondence and conversations, essays, university documents, and other archival materials and research, Gross re-creates the highs and lows of his quest to make Roosevelt distinctive. His strategic plan included the appointment of senior executives and deans, the creation of a performing arts conservatory, the development of an educational alliance with other universities, online instruction, an honors program, a Chicago School of Real Estate, an MBA for Chinese students, the Partners in Corporate Education program, and the implementation of a second comprehensive campus. He describes the creation of the Albert A. Robin campus in Schaumburg and the realization of Roosevelt as a metropolitan university, creating a vivid portrait of the suburban culture, the educational context of large community colleges throughout the northwest suburbs, the development of a community advisory board that helped secure funds, and the improved morale of faculty and administration.

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