The Citadel

Citadel President To Retire

12 years of service to his alma mater

June 29, 2017 - 10:08 am

CHARLESTON, S.C.− The president of The Citadel, Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa, USAF (Ret.), who led the college to unprecedented levels of achievement in academic distinction, civic engagement, fundraising and diversity, announced today that he will retire at the end of the next academic year. Rosa informed the campus community that he will retire as the 19th president of The Citadel on June 30, 2018.


“The Citadel will be celebrating its rich heritage and 175th anniversary in the 2017-18 academic year and will continue to produce principled leaders far into the future,” said Rosa. “It has been my honor to serve my alma mater and a privilege for Donna and me to see our young men and women go forth putting service above self in the military, private enterprise, public institutions and in the pursuit of advanced degrees.”


Under Rosa’s leadership, The Citadel has earned the title No. 1 Public College in the South among its peers as ranked by U.S. News & World Report for six consecutive years out of his 12 years as president. The highly decorated pilot and three-star general became president of The Citadel on January 3, 2006, after serving as the superintendent of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He graduated from The Citadel in 1973.


“On behalf of the Board of Visitors, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to Lt. Gen. Rosa for his strategic vision and leadership,” said Lt. Gen. John B. Sams, Jr., USAF (Ret.), Board of Visitors chair. “His focus on our mission to educate and develop graduates to become principled leaders in all walks of life by instilling in them The Citadel’s core values of Honor, Duty and Respect in a challenging intellectual environment will carry on for generations to come.”


Enduring impacts of Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa’s leadership

Rosa successfully led two ambitious strategic plans during his tenure and two of the largest capital campaigns in the history of the college, raising more than $300 million in private monies and pledges. During his administration, the college developed robust financial strategies for generating new revenue and maximizing efficiencies. Additionally, The Citadel Foundation became the college’s largest budget contributor and has met or exceeded its annual goals.


Rosa’s strategic planning initiatives fostered innovation in academic programs of distinction, including the development of new programs such as cybersecurity, mechanical engineering and nursing. As a result of this innovation, the college was designated a 2016 National Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The Citadel School of Engineering was also named No. 13 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.


During his tenure, the college saw its first school naming in 2014 with Anita Zucker and her family in the Zucker Family School of Education, which houses the STEM Center of Excellence. As The Citadel Graduate College celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rosa is recognized for expanding its impact as a community resource with new graduate and evening undergraduate programs and certificates. He was instrumental in establishing online programs for undergraduate and masters’ degrees with a particular emphasis on supporting Citadel alumni and active military personnel around the world.


The physical transformation of the college’s facilities and technology under Rosa’s leadership are noteworthy. Because of loyal alumni donors and generous supporters, this year The Citadel is beginning construction on Bastin Hall, made possible by Rick and Mary Lee Bastin, to house the Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business, dedicating a War Memorial to honor the ultimate sacrifices of alumni and rebuilding the recreational boating center. Early in his administration, he oversaw the completion of the west-side stands of Johnson Hagood Stadium with club and private suites levels. Rosa also directed the development of a 25-year master plan for the campus that will maximize and preserve its historic beauty.


His term as president produced the largest Corps of Cadets in the history of the college with three new companies added to fill the five battalions to capacity with 21 companies and more than 2,350 cadets. The Class of 2020 is the largest class since 1961 and is the most diverse class to date, which was fitting for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of African-Americans and 20th anniversary of females in the Corps during the 2016-2017 school year.


Working with Bill and Gay Krause under Rosa’s leadership, the college developed an outstanding four-year leader development program uniting academic classes through the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics with the Office of the Commandant’s experiential leadership laboratory in the barracks. The institution’s Ethics in Action four-year program is producing superb learning outcomes.


The Citadel earned a 10-year Carnegie Foundation designation for Civic Engagement, a distinction that only two percent of colleges have earned. For the past two years, the college has earned a spot on the President’s Honor Roll for community service as one of the top five institutions in America.


To date, 1,582 cadets have commissioned as officers in all five branches of the U.S. armed forces during the Rosa administration. Rosa also reinstated The Citadel Veterans Program, growing it to more than 246 veterans in 2016-17 alone. Moreover, The Citadel was named the No. 1 College for Veterans in the South among its peers by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.


Rosa’s administration led the college to achieve its 10-year re-accreditation with zero areas needing improvement. Furthermore, he made a significant investment in student support services through the nationally recognized Academic Support Center in conjunction with a vibrant Career Services Center that has quadrupled internships while increasing job opportunities.


“President Rosa exemplifies the finest qualities of leadership – inspiring with vision and encouraging innovation, leading the institution to higher levels of success and supporting all aspects of institutional advancement,” said Kris Phillips, Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III board chair. Recently the nine-state district of CASE awarded Rosa the 2017 Chief Executive Leadership Award.


The 2017 South Carolina Campus Compact Civic Engagement Professional Award was also presented to Rosa.


“One of his greatest legacies will be his unwavering support of The Citadel’s mission to educate and develop principled leaders by teaching through the servant-leader model,” said Conway Saylor, Ph.D., director of service learning for the Krause Center for Leadership and Ethics.


Rosa’s complete biography is available here. Information about the search for the 20th president of The Citadel will be announced at a future date.


“It has been remarkable to be a part of the dedicated efforts of faculty and staff to provide an outstanding learning environment for current and future students. I look forward to The Citadel’s bright future and continued success,” Rosa said. 

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