Office of the President
About 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 close to 5,000 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. For the 16th consecutive year, UDM was ranked in the top tier of universities in the Midwest Region in the 2017 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges.” In addition to being the highest ranking Midwest Regional school in Michigan in the magazine’s annual list, Detroit Mercy was also named one of the “Best Values” in the region and continues to be an “A+ School for B Students.” A major comprehensive campaign is underway and several significant grants have been received over the last five years, including a $1.5 million grant from the Ford Foundation; a $750,000 three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; a five-year $21.2 million BUILD grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in collaboration with three other Detroit colleges and universities; and a first-time ever, five-year $1.1 million Student Support Services Program grant from the United States Department of Education. In 2015, UDM initiated the development of the Live6 Alliance, a community revitalization organization, which UDM is a key member along with The Kresge Foundation and the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation that will focus on strengthening the Livernois Avenue and McNichols Road (6 Mile Road) commercial corridors in Northwest Detroit.
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. His article, “The Expanding Gender and Racial Gap in American Higher Education,” was published in the Summer 2014 edition of Howard University’s The Journal of Negro Education. In 2015, he was selected among Crain’s Detroit Business “100 Most Connected People in Detroit.”
A longtime leader in national higher education organizations, he currently serves on the boards of the: Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Council of Presidents; Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) Executive Committee; Georgetown University (DC); Horizon League Athletic Conference, which he chaired from 2013 to 2015; University of Saint Thomas (MN); QEM/Math, Science, Engineering (MSE) Network; and the Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Educational Foundation. Locally, he is a member of the boards of Brother Rice High School; Cardinal Club; Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA); Detroit Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board; Live6 Alliance; New Detroit, Inc.; the United Way for Southeastern Michigan Campaign Cabinet; and the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He currently serves on the Grand Public Policy Committee of Sigma Pi Phi.
Dr. Garibaldi has previously served on numerous boards and committees including: National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), where he was Secretary of the Board; Co-Chair for the Children/Youth Development, Education and Recreation Subcommittee of the Detroit Mayor-elect’s Transition Team in 2013; 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 Grand Social Action Committee of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity in 2006-08, Vice Chairman in 2008-10, and was a member of the fraternity’s Education Commission from 2010 to 2012 and the Commission for Young African American Males in 2012 to 2014.
Prior to joining University of Detroit Mercy, Dr. Garibaldi was the sixth 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 and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota.
Last updated Nov. 2016