Press "Enter" to skip to content

University president Gary Roberts to retire in 2020

Bradley University president Gary Roberts announced his plan to retire in May 2020 when his contract expires. 

Roberts made the announcement the day after the May commencement ceremony. As of May, Bradley will start a nationwide presidential search for his replacement. 

Roberts graduated from Bradley in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and minors in history and speech. He returned to the Hilltop in January 2016 in succession of Joanne Glasser. Roberts is the 11th president in Bradley’s history. 

After he graduated from Bradley, Roberts received his J.D. from Stanford University in 1975. He has served as the deputy dean at Tulane University for 24 years and dean emeritus of McKinney School of Law at Indiana University. 

During his tenure, Bradley has launched a faculty salary initiative, expanded the online degree programs and started the construction of the Business and Engineering Complex. Phase one of the construction is scheduled to open this fall, and total completion is projected for December 2020. 

“As a 1970 graduate of Bradley, this is bittersweet. I love Bradley and all of the people I have worked with here,” Roberts wrote in his email sent out to students and staff. “Despite the challenges that Bradley faces as higher education is disrupted and transitions its business model, I am optimistic about Bradley’s future, and I still hope to be a part of it.” 

Bradley’s 2019-20 budget, approved by the Board of Trustees in May, projects that the university will run on a $6.9 million deficit this year. According to Bradley’s spokesperson, the university does not want to simply transfer the financial pressure to students via tuition fees but to continue look for ways to reduce operational cost. 

Last year, the university faced an enrollment shortfall with a historically low student retention rate, which has cost the university an operational deficit of around $5 million. 

According to the email statement sent by Roberts, the university’s Board of Trustees will form a search committee co-chaired by the board’s Vice Chairman James Shadid and Secretary Kathi Holst. 

Additional trustees, faculty and student representatives will sit on the committee. The university will retain a search consultant and begin laying out the process and identifying candidates this summer. 

– Previous version published on May 20, 2019 –

On Monday morning, Bradley University president Gary Roberts announced his plan to retire in May of 2020 when his contract expires. Bradley will begin the presidential searching process this summer. 

A Bradley alumnus, Roberts came back to the Hilltop in January 2016 in succession of Joanne Glasser. He is the 11th president of Bradley’s history.

Roberts graduated from Bradley in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and minors in history and speech. He received his J.D. degree from Stanford University in 1975. Roberts has served as the dean emeritus of the law school at Indiana University and deputy dean at Tulane University.

During his turner, Bradley has started phase one of the Business and Engineering Complex project and expanded the online degree programs.

According to Roberts’ email, the university’s Board of Trustees will form a search committee co-chaired by the board’s Vice Chairman James Shadid and Secretary Kathi Holst. Additional trustees, faculty and student representatives will sit on the committee. The university will retain a search consultant and begin laying out the process and identifying candidates this summer.

Email sent out by Gary Roberts announcing his retirement

Dear Campus,

I have informed the Board of Trustees of my intent to retire when my contract expires at the end of May of 2020.

As most of you know, I was planning to retire before I accepted this wonderful position to lead my alma mater. All along it was assumed that I would have a limited tenure. Next year, I will be 72 years old, and Donna and I want to have some healthy years to enjoy life and check several items off our bucket list.  Also, I believe that many of the changes that need to occur at Bradley will take several years to implement fully, and having a president who can provide continuity of leadership throughout that transitional period will be a big plus for the University. 

As a 1970 graduate of Bradley, this is bittersweet.  I love Bradley and all of the people I have worked with here.  Despite the challenges that Bradley faces as higher education is disrupted and transitions its business model, I am optimistic about Bradley’s future, and I still hope to be a part of it.

During my tenure, I am proud to say we have designed and implemented a new strategic plan, launched a faculty salary initiative, will complete Phase 1 of the new Business and Engineering Convergence Center, expanded Bradley’s suite of online course offerings, and much more.  This has been an outstanding team to work with, and I can’t wait to see what you are able to accomplish next. 

The Board of Trustees will form a presidential search committee to be co-chaired by the board’s Vice Chairman, the Honorable James Shadid, and Secretary, Kathi Holst.  Additional trustees, faculty and student representatives will also join the committee.  The university will retain a search consultant and begin laying out the process and identifying candidates this summer. 

Donna and I have both become involved in the Peoria area and have enjoyed making Peoria our home. 

I look forward to the coming year.  We all know there are challenges ahead of us, but I am confident we can work together and make great strides towards our goals.  

Visit https://www.bradley.edu/offices/communications/pr/ for the official media announcement. 

 

Gary Roberts

President

Copyright © 2019 The Scout, Bradley University. All rights reserved.
The Scout is published by members of the student body of Bradley University. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the University.