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Antoine Garibaldi
                      Antoine Garibaldi

UDM names Antoine M. Garibaldi as its new president

Read the Q & A with Antoine Garibaldi

Antoine M. Garibaldi will join University of Detroit Mercy as its new president on July 1, 2011. The announcement came in November from UDM Board of Trustees Chair John D. Lewis. Garibaldi, who previously served as president of Gannon University in Erie, Pa., will become UDM’s first lay president.

“We are very pleased to have President Garibaldi join the University of Detroit Mercy community,” said Lewis. “Given his tenure as a Catholic university president, he brings strong leadership skills and extensive experience that will enable UDM to continue its mission of providing a quality academic experience within a Catholic and urban context.”

Recognized as a national scholar in higher education, Garibaldi’s career spans more than 35 years as a tenured professor, accomplished researcher and educational administrator.

Garibaldi had served as Gannon University’s president since 2001. During that time, the university’s enrollment has increased by 24 percent from 3,401 to 4,238 students, the highest in 17 years, and its endowment more than doubled. In 2008, he successfully completed the largest comprehensive fund-raising campaign in Gannon’s history, raising more than $31.5 million in private gifts and more than $8 million in foundation and government grants.

Other major accomplishments during his nearly ten-year tenure include: U.S.News & World Report top-tier rankings for seven straight years, Best Value (Great School, Great Price) rankings for five years, and a Top Up-and-Coming recognition; highly successful five-year Strategic Plans I and II; establishment of the Erie Technology Incubator; and acquisition of and major renovations to 33 administrative, academic and student housing buildings.

“I am honored to be selected as the first lay president of the University of Detroit Mercy,” said Garibaldi. “As a nationally-ranked Catholic university with its distinctive Mercy and Jesuit traditions, I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees to continue to advance the academic excellence and student-centered emphases that are reflected in the UDM mission.”

A native of New Orleans, La., Garibaldi earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 1976 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Howard University in 1973. He remains an active scholar in the professional disciplines of education and psychology, producing more than 11 books and monographs and more than 80 research articles and chapters. His research interests focus on educational achievement and attainment in schools, African-American males, teacher education, and the growing gender and racial disparities in higher education.

Garibaldi is recognized as a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. Prior to joining Gannon University, Garibaldi was a senior fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Collaborations and Corporate Secretary at the Educational Testing Service in 2000-01; he served as the first provost and chief academic officer at Howard University and a tenured professor in the School of Education between 1996 and 2000; and, between 1982 and 1996, he served successively as chairman of the Education Department, dean of Arts and Sciences, and vice president for Academic Affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana. 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.

He has received numerous awards and honors, including honorary doctorates from Seton Hall University and Our Lady of Holy Cross College, La.; the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award; the Howard University Distinguished Alumni Award for Postgraduate Achievement in Education; and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Service Award. In March 2010, he received the “Person of the Year Award” from the University of Notre Dame Club of Erie. In February 2011, he received a commendation from the Erie City Council, and he was honored by The Youth Leadership Institute of Erie for his leadership and service to the Erie area. In May 2011, he will receive an honorary doctorate from Gannon University.

Garibaldi serves on a number of scholarly and national higher education boards, such as the American Council on Education, Association of Governing Board’s Council of Presidents and National Association of College and University Business Officers. He is also a past chair of the Board of Directors of both the Council of Independent Colleges and the American Association for Higher Education.  He is also a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ National Review Board, as well as the boards of trustees of Seton Hall University (NJ) and University of St. Thomas (MN).

“Dr. Garibaldi brings a depth and breadth of administrative experience in higher education and Catholic higher education from department chair to dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to provost and chief academic officer to president while remaining an active scholar in his field,” stated Liz Roberts-Kirchhoff, UDM associate professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry and a faculty representative on the presidential search committee. “His past achievements demonstrate his commitment to community engagement and his ability to be both strategic and mission-centered.”

Antoine M. Garibaldi at a glance

Hometown: New Orleans

Education: Josephite Seminary (8 ½ years)
Howard University (B.A. in Sociology, Magna Cum Laude)
University of Minnesota (Ph.D. in Educational Psychology)

Family: Wife, Carol; eight siblings (five brothers and three sisters); more than 30 nieces and nephews

Hobbies/interests: I do like just about all sports and music. I enjoy basketball and my interest in golf has increased in recent years. I enjoy reading, especially current events through a whole variety of magazines and newspapers. I like to write and keep up on my professional scholarship by writing journal articles and book chapters. It’s very important to me to stay abreast of the educational psychology profession.

What’s in your CD player?: I have hundreds of songs in my IPod. It’s a real variety, including pop, jazz and R&B.

Book(s) you are reading: The Flat World and Education: How America’s commitment to equity will determine our future, by Linda Darling-Hammond. The book addresses equity of financing for schools, making sure that all communities and schools have qualified teachers.

Say You’re One of Them, by Uwem Akpan, S.J., a Jesuit priest from Nigeria. It’s five short stories written about the challenges experienced by African children and how they cope with their varied situations.