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Notre Dame Discovered: A Tribute President Andrew P. Roth

Andrew P. Roth, Ph.D., is retiring as president of Notre Dame College effective June 30, 2014.

Dr. Roth, the 13th president in the College’s 91-year history, has served since July 2003.

“I returned to Ohio just over a decade ago to assume the leadership of a beautiful, suburban, values-based college. Embarking on a 'voyage of discovery’ in 2003 to build a regional asset, Notre Dame’s transformation from a tiny school to the thriving institution it is today exceeds all my expectations.

As a result of the teamwork of an excellent staff, faculty and dedicated trustees, Notre Dame today is a vibrant and dynamic campus—one of the finest, small Catholic baccalaureate colleges in the Great Lakes region,” Dr. Roth said.

Leading a college that had gone coeducational just two years previously, Dr. Roth recognized the need for Notre Dame to grow. His expertise in enrollment management helped the College emerge as a best practice in higher education.

Notre Dame’s full-time enrollment has grown 320 percent since 2003, while its total enrollment grew at a 150 percent rate. Dr. Roth attributed this to the outstanding work of the admissions office the past 10 years and the energetic and enthusiastic support of the College’s faculty, staff, coaches, alumni and friends.

Even in difficult economic times, Dr. Roth ensured that the College adhered to the values of its founders, the Sisters of Notre Dame, and to the College’s mission of serving the underserved.

Notre Dame is an opportunity college where 98 percent of its current students receive financial aid. According to Dr. Roth, the responsibility to serve all—including the underprivileged—is the very core of a Notre Dame education.

“It is our moral and ethical responsibility as educators to teach our students not just how to earn a living but, more importantly, how to live a life,” Dr. Roth said.

Dr. Roth cites as his proudest accomplishments the establishment of an Academic Support Center for Students with Learning Differences (ASC), founding a nursing program in 2006, the College’s great ethnic and religious diversity and the success in maintaining its commitment to access and affordability through its generous financial aid programs.

The ASC was created in 2005 and is today one of the College’s jewels.

Serving over 130 students with learning disabilities, the ASC offers these young adults the chance to succeed through state-of-the-art interventions, close personal attention and highly skilled tutoring.

In 2006, Notre Dame started a baccalaureate nursing program; today that program enrolls over 200 students on the South Euclid campus and another 175 R.N.-B.S.N. students online. It began offering a Master of Science in Nursing in spring 2014.

The College now offers more than 30 majors and programs at the associates, bachelor’s and master’s levels and professional development courses for personal and career enhancement.

Scholarship opportunities greatly expanded under Dr. Roth. Recognizing a wide array of talents and abilities including honors and academics, cheerleading, marching band, choir, club sports and more, the campus population showcases a broad base of student interests and opportunities.

During Dr. Roth’s presidency, the College has continued to be recognized as a leader in diversity; approximately 28 percent of Notre Dame students are racial minorities.

Notre Dame students come from 24 states and 18 countries.

With the College thriving, Dr. Roth quickly recognized a need to pay tribute to the accomplishments of many who have served Notre Dame College. He created awards and events to celebrate outstanding students, graduates, employees and faculty.

Dr. Roth initiated the Bosche Award, given to the outstanding member of the graduating class, and the Finn Award, granted to the year’s outstanding adult graduate. In 2008, he created the Notre Dame College Medal to annually recognize individuals whose exemplary lives provide witness to the College’s mission to educate for personal, professional and global responsibility.

A lifelong learner and bibliophile, Dr. Roth also created his signature “Books That Changed the World” seminar series, a program for professional and civic leaders, in 2008.

Tenured in three different disciplines at his previous institution, Dr. Roth regularly teaches an undergraduate course, viewing himself as “a faculty member and teacher first.”

Since Dr. Roth’s arrival just over a decade ago, Notre Dame has attained numerous milestones in fundraising, employment, campus facilities, academic programs and athletics.

Fundraising successes gained significant momentum with more than $4 million raised in just the last year. The recent dedication of two new athletic fields, made possible by transformative private gifts, is visible testimony that generous donors are recognizing the importance of values-based, smaller, private schools, Dr. Roth said.

Under Dr. Roth’s leadership, employment at the College increased dramatically as well. The number of full-time faculty grew from 23 to 59. The number of employees increased from less than a hundred to approximately 250, making the College the largest non-governmental employer in South Euclid, Ohio, and making the city a true college town.

In 2004, Dr. Roth began a series of campus-wide renovations; Harks and Providence Residence Halls were remodeled and expanded.

In 2005, the Quinlivan Circle was dedicated, and the Clara Fritzsche Library was remodeled to include a smart classroom, the Falcon Cafe and the ASC. In 2007, the Administration Building was remodeled to accommodate additional faculty offices, the Parker Nursing Laboratory and more classroom space.

In 2008-2009, a much-needed series of physical improvements was completed, including the upgrading of campus dining facilities, the construction of two new apartment style residence halls that house over 300 students and greatly expanded classroom and laboratory spaces.

To signal the College’s commitment to its Catholic identity, in 2008, through the generous support of dedicated alumni and friends of the College, Christ the King Chapel was restored to its original glory.

Additionally, the footprint of the campus grew substantially in 2010 with the acquisition of the former Regina High School. Today Regina Hall houses classrooms; offices for student organizations, adult and online programs, development and alumni, athletics and campus ministry; and Regina Chapel.

Under Dr. Roth’s leadership, Notre Dame has made strides to expand academic opportunities for students. The College initiated new programs, including the Intelligence Analysis and Research Program (IARP) and study in criminal justice, as well as the fully accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

Strategic growth of the College has included recognizing the needs of the adult student, and Dr. Roth created the means to offer many programs online and enhanced the College’s graduate program offerings.

A catalyst for the College’s overall growth, Notre Dame athletics include 22 intercollegiate sports for women and men. During Dr. Roth’s tenure, Notre Dame has won three national championships in wrestling, most recently a NCAA Division II title in 2014, less than two years after the College formally transitioned to NCAA Division II.

At Notre Dame, under Dr. Roth’s leadership, student-athletes are students first and athletes second, as the College strictly adheres to the NCAA “life in the balance” philosophy, which recognizes the need to properly focus on educating all students to be academically prepared, career-ready, good citizens and good people.