On June 22, 2015, RPI welcomed a new vice president for student life to campus. Dr. Frank E. Ross III was announced as the new vice president after the previous vice president, Timothy Sams, moved to a new position at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. In a statement released on May 15, President Shirley Ann Jackson detailed Ross’s responsibilities in the position to be “providing the strategic direction, vision, and leadership for the Division of Student Life. As the Institute’s chief student life officer, Ross will assume oversight, coordination, and management of all student programs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.”
Ross previously served as vice president for student affairs at Northeastern Illinois University. In that position, Ross provided leadership and oversight for over twenty student organizations on campus, including student government, student rights groups, cultural groups, and other student programs. Prior to that, he served as associate provost for student success and dean of students at University of North Texas at Dallas. Additionally, he served as multiple positions, including assistant vice chancellor for student life, for more than 10 years at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
Ross received his Ph.D from Indiana University, a Master of Arts degree from Western Kentucky University, and Master of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Ball State University. Additionally, he took part in the Higher Education Management Development Program at Harvard University.
Since assuming the role just a few weeks ago, Ross has taken an active position in RPI’s social media presences, most prominently with his personal Twitter account, @DrFrankERoss. Ross has interacted with the Rensselaer social media ambassadors, tweeted and retweeted about upcoming events and student life activities at RPI, and has even begun promoting season tickets for RPI Engineers Hockey teams.
In the email announcing his appointment, Ross praised Rensselaer for “contributing to a preeminent research university with global reach and global impact.” He also expressed that he has “been impressed with the transformation of Rensselaer under President Jackson’s leadership, and appreciates her very strong commitment to students.” He concluded his statement by saying, “I look forward to leading the Student Life team and supporting the Rensselaer Plan 2024 while advancing a robust student experience through Clustered Learning, Advocacy, and Support for Students.”