Robert Morris University

RMU President Chris Howard Named to Board of Directors Of the American Council on Education

ACE represents 1,700 institutions nationwide

Chris Howard

Robert Morris University President Chris Howard has been elected to the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE), a higher education association representing 1,700 colleges and universities nationwide. 

This will be the second term on the ACE board for Howard, who is the eighth president of RMU. Previously he served on the board from 2014 to 2016. Howard’s latest appointment becomes effective in March 2020.  

“I am gratified by the opportunity to once again serve on the ACE Board of Directors,” said Howard. “It is not only an honor for me personally but also speaks to the esteem in which Robert Morris University is held by its peers.”

ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private.

“We are fortunate that dedicated leaders like Chris Howard devote their expertise and time to help ACE carry out our mission of mobilizing the higher education community to shape public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “I deeply appreciate the willingness of Chris to serve in this role.”

Howard became president of Robert Morris on February 1, 2016. During his tenure, the university has launched RMU 100: Ready to Rise, a $100-million fundraising campaign that paid for the construction of the UPMC Events Center, which opened in May. The events center is the new home of the Colonials’ NCAA Division I basketball and volleyball teams, and hosts concerts, conferences, business meetings, and family shows. 

To date, RMU has raised $94 million toward its goal. The campaign and the university’s RMU 100 strategic plan are set to be completed in time for RMU’s 100th anniversary in 2021. Under that plan, the university has boosted student retention and graduation rates and crafted strategic partnerships with several Pittsburgh-area corporations and organizations – including Koppers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Eat’n Park. Recently, the university broke ground on an expansion of the John Jay Center for the School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science. That project is funded through a $5 million grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Howard was previously president of Hamden-Sydney College in Virginia and vice president for leadership and strategic initiatives at the University of Oklahoma, following a successful corporate career with General Electric and Bristol-Myers Squibb. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy who earned a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan. Howard he earned his doctorate in politics as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Harvard Business School.