President's Update

Rio Grande is continuing its momentum and growth in 2014. You will find a great deal of exciting information in this edition of Tower & Times, and I hope you will read through it in its entirety.  We want to keep you as informed as possible.

We are very pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Richard Sax as Provost.  Dr. Sax was selected after an extensive national search that included a rigorous vetting and interview process by internal and external stakeholders of the University. In the end, Sax’s genuine enthusiasm for Rio, strong record of academic leadership experience and proven commitment to intellectual pursuits in both the private liberal arts education and public community college settings made him a strong fit for the position.

Dr. Sax comes to Rio with a proven record of academic leadership experience having served in positions of increasing responsibility and complexity over a course of nearly twenty-five (25) years. This includes serving as Honors Program Director, English Department Chair, twice as an academic dean, and twice as a chief academic officer.  He currently serves as Dean of Instruction and Chief Academic Officer at the University of New Mexico-Valencia Campus in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

In his role as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Sax will provide leadership in the development, assessment, budgeting and oversight of all academic initiatives, and vision, coordination, accountability, and advocacy for the academic division in support of the institution’s mission. The Provost will provide vital, creative, and adaptable vision and leadership for all academic divisions, departments, and programs and services that support them.  He will be a great asset to Rio Grande.

You will read of Professor Kevin Lyles’ recognition as this year’s Excellence in Scholarship Award winner.  Professor Lyles participated in over 200 juried competitions, numerous invitational or group shows, and has his work in several corporate, university, and private collections nationally.  In September 2013, he completed a commission for a large-scale outdoor sculpture for the Bob Evans Farms Corporation’s new corporate headquarters in New Albany, Ohio. The work was featured in the October 26, 2013 grand opening ceremony for that facility. Such a record of scholarship and commitment is extremely worthy of recognition.

In keeping with our goal to train students for careers in growing industry, Rio Grande recently began a certificate program to train Direct Service Workers for the home health industry.  We are very pleased to note the program was offered for free to students in this spring term, thanks to a special grant received by Rio Grande.  The growing need for in-home-care has created a large demand for this level of certification, and we are pleased to be able to provide this certification.

In keeping with this level of quality at Rio Grande, the Scholarship Challenge and Chemistry Scholarship competition were created to attract some of the best and brightest to Rio.  Held annually, the Scholarship Challenge offers renewable scholarships based merit regardless of degree interest.  The Chemistry Scholarship further supports our mission of offering quality educational opportunities to students. 

You will also read the heartwarming story of our ENACTUS student organization’s work to fight hunger in southeastern Ohio.  Nearly one quarter of a local food pantry’s stock was provided through the efforts of our amazing students. 

The stories shared in this edition of Tower & Times make us all proud to be part of this community.  Together we accomplish many great things!


Barbara Gellman-Danley, Ph.D.
President