Biography of Dr. Ali A. Houshmand
Dr. Ali A. Houshmand became Rowan University’s seventh president in June 2012 after serving approximately six years as provost/senior vice president, CEO and interim president.
As provost/senior vice president for Academic Affairs, Dr. Houshmand made an immediate impact: he helped established the College of Graduate and Continuing Education, oversaw the restructuring of the summer school and graduate school, created a University-wide revenue-sharing model, and established the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning.
During his interim presidency and the early part of his presidency, Rowan University continued to partner on some of the most important projects in its history, including the cofounding of Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU) with Cooper University Health Care and the construction of Rowan Boulevard, a historic public-private-public development.
A New President
To be formally inaugurated as Rowan’s President on September 20, 2013, Dr. Houshmand has led the University during a period of unprecedented growth and opportunity, much of it a direct result of his personal vision and drive.
Seeing Rowan as the leading educational and economic engine in South Jersey, he has pursued broad measures to expand its reach. Under his leadership Rowan in 2012 opened CMSRU in Camden and, in 2013, integrated the School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM) in Stratford from the former University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). Rowan is now just the second university in the nation to offer both M.D.- and D.O.-granting medical programs. As part of state legislation restructuring medical education, Rowan also acquired the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Stratford from UMDNJ.
The legislation designated Rowan the second comprehensive public research university in New Jersey and calls for partnering the University with Rutgers-Camden in developing a new College of Health Sciences.
Though Rowan has evolved dramatically in just a few years, Dr. Houshmand remains steadfast in believing the University must stay loyal to its core mission: top quality, affordable, undergraduate education. To that end he worked with the Board of Trustees to insure no increase in undergraduate tuition for 2013-14 and committed to not raising undergraduate tuition beyond the cost of inflation during his tenure.
Dr. Houshmand is an active, engaged partner in Rowan Boulevard, the $300 million collaboration between private developers, the Borough of Glassboro and the University. An all-new educational and economic corridor, Rowan Boulevard is reinventing the downtown and changing the definition of town-gown relations.
He has broadened this philosophy to make the University more entrepreneurial with a focus on broadening research and expanding academic offerings and disciplines at the intersection of science, technology, business, engineering and medicine.
But Dr. Houshmand is just getting started.
Believing southern New Jersey deserves greater access to quality public higher education, he seeks to double Rowan’s enrollment to 25,000 students by 2025, increase research funding from $25 million to $100 million annually and increase Rowan’s operating budget from $400 million to $1 billion, making Rowan one of the region’s most important economic engines.
A firm foundation
Rowan’s president was educated in three countries and has served in academia in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Raised in Iran, Dr. Houshmand earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics and mathematical statistics from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. He earned a second master’s degree and a doctoral degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After earning his doctorate, Dr. Houshmand worked as a staff analyst for United Airlines, developing large-scale optimization and forecasting models. Leaving industry for academia, he joined the University of Cincinnati and, later, Drexel University, where he taught and held various administrative positions before coming to Rowan.
Dr. Houshmand lives in Glassboro with his wife, Farah. They have two grown children.