Office of the President

Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.
Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.
President, University of Detroit Mercy

Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D.

Dr. Antoine Garibaldi is the 25th President of University of Detroit Mercy, a Catholic, Master’s Comprehensive University sponsored by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Founded in 1877 by the Jesuits, University of Detroit consolidated with Mercy College of Detroit in 1990. University of Detroit Mercy is the largest Catholic University in Michigan and has more than 5,100 students in 116 undergraduate and graduate academic programs, including professional programs in Architecture, Dentistry and Law. Dr. Garibaldi is the first lay president of the University and a tenured Professor of Education.

Since June 2011, he has led the development and implementation of the University of Detroit Mercy Strategic Plan: 2012-2017, which includes major goals focused on UDM’s academic and institutional excellence, enrollment, fundraising and community engagement. In 2013, UDM was ranked for the 13th consecutive year in the top tier of universities (#25) in the Midwest Region in the 2014 edition of U.S.News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.” UDM also received the seventh highest return on investment (ROI) ranking among 30 Michigan colleges and universities in the 2013 listing of Affordable Colleges Online. A major comprehensive campaign is underway and four significant grants have been received over the last two and a half years, including a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation; a $750,000 three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and a collaborative public and private funded grant of more than $1.6 million for the Livernois Streetscape Enhancement Plan (LSEP).

Nationally recognized for his more than three decades of teaching, scholarly work and administrative experience in education and the federal government, Dr. Garibaldi is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association and the author of eleven books and more than 85 research articles and chapters. He is very involved in local and national organizations and serves on the boards of Brother Rice High School; Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA); Detroit Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board; New Detroit, Inc.; and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan Campaign Cabinet. Nationally he is a member of the boards of the: Association of Governing Boards’ (AGB) Council of Presidents; Horizon League, which he also Chairs; National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU); University of Saint Thomas (MN); QEM/Math, Science, Engineering (MSE) Network; and the Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Educational Foundation. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, where he currently serves on the Commission for Young African American Males of the Grand Social Action Committee.

He has also served on the following boards: American Council on Education, where he was Secretary of the Board; National Association of College and University Business Officers; U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board; Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania; Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), which he chaired from 2006 to 2008; NCAA Division II Presidents Council (2005-09) and Chair of the NCAA’s Executive Committee Subcommittee on Gender and Diversity. Dr. Garibaldi was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Higher Education (AAHE) in 2001-02 and served on the Board from 1995-2003. Additionally, he is a former member of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness, Wheeling Jesuit University’s (WV) Board of Directors, and Seton Hall (N.J.) University’s Board of Directors and Board of Regents. He served as Chairman of the Social Action Committee of Sigma Pi Phi in 2006-08, Vice Chairman in 2008-10, and was a member of the fraternity’s Education Commission from 2010 to 2012.

Prior to joining University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Garibaldi was President of Gannon University for nine and a half years from 2001 to 2010. During his tenure, enrollment increased by 24 percent – more than 830 students – to 4,238 students; the endowment more than doubled; more than $40 million was raised for the largest comprehensive campaign in Gannon’s history, which included more than $31.5 million in private gifts, two first-ever multi-million dollar federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education, major grants from the National Science Foundation and other foundations, and more than $5 million of federal and state grants to establish the Erie Technology Incubator. Additionally, during his decade at Gannon, more than thirty buildings were constructed, acquired and renovated; and the University was ranked for seven consecutive years in the top tier of Northern Best Regional Universities by U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” in its 2005-2011 editions. Gannon was also ranked in the Great Schools, Great Prices category for five years and as a Top Up-and-Coming School in 2009.

He has received numerous honors, including four honorary doctorates from Our Lady of Holy Cross College (LA), Seton Hall University, Gannon University and University of Saint Thomas (MN); the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota; the Howard University Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement in the field of education; the Papal honor of Knight of St. Gregory the Great; the National Service Award from the International Salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; “Person of the Year Award” from the University of Notre Dame Club of Erie; and the Michigan Chronicle's 2013 Men of Excellence Award.

Some of his previous professional positions include: Senior Fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Collaborations and Corporate Secretary at the Educational Testing Service in 2000-01; Howard University’s first Provost and Chief Academic Officer and tenured Professor in the School of Education between 1996 and 2000; and at Xavier University of Louisiana, between 1982 and 1996, he served successively as Chairman of the Education Department, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Between 1977 and 1982, he was a federal government administrator and researcher at the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute of Education, where he was also a staff member of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, which produced the landmark report, A Nation at Risk.

A native of New Orleans, he received his undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Howard University in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1976.