Gary Russi

Educator and Successful University Leader

About Gary Russi

An experienced teaching faculty member and published expert in health sciences, Dr. Gary Russi has also implemented widespread strategic change as a university administrator. Most recently president of Oakland University in Michigan, he secured multi-faceted growth in student and faculty population, academic opportunities, and financial stability. Dr. Gary Russi accomplished these ends as creator and implementer of the University's inaugural strategic plans, which outlined growth toward establishing the institution as a major research university.

A professional in higher education for more than 40 years, Dr. Gary Russi began teaching in 1972 as an assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Drake University. He accepted his first administrative role as a project coordinator for Drake University's development and fundraising department, where he played a key role in the execution of 42 funded projects. He continued to rise through increasing levels of responsibility, including director of university planning and executive assistant to the president. Dr. Russi ultimately achieved the position of vice president for research and strategic planning, in which role he guided Drake University's directional activities while supporting promising on-campus research. He left Drake in 1993 to become vice president for academic affairs and professor of health sciences at Oakland University. He subsequently served as President of Oakland University for 18 years until his retirement in 2013.

Oakland University Becomes a Partner in Michigan Business Incubator

Oakland University's retired president Gary Russi encouraged many changes at the school during his long tenure. Some 20,000 students and 3,000 faculty benefited from Gary Russi's initiatives. Among other things, Russi encouraged partnerships between the university and private industry, government, and other educational institutions.

An example of this approach is the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator program, located in Sterling Heights, Michigan. The city has been designated by the state as a “smart zone” for entrepreneurs, researchers, and industry. The partnership's directors hope to attract defense-related companies, homeland security organizations, and advanced technology providers to Macomb County. Oakland University has much to offer incubator clients, particularly human resources, such as student interns. Other opportunities include access to faculty expertise, availability of capital, and contact with other, established companies.

Business incubators provide fertile ground for start-ups to grow. Research shows that 87 percent of incubated enterprises are still operating after five years, compared to only 50 percent of businesses as a whole. Most of the nation's job creation comes from new businesses.

Oakland University - Currently Accepting Applications for Camp RN@OU

Retired Oakland University president Dr. Gary Russi devoted two decades of his career to the institution, during which time he played an integral role in increasing enrollment by nearly 20,000 students and launching 65 new academic programs. Dr. Gary Russi also approved a multimillion-dollar project that resulted in the construction of the university’s Human Health Building.

Opening its doors in 2012, the Human Health Building houses Oakland University’s School of Nursing as well as the Diagnostics Health Assessment and Therapeutics labs. While the facility caters to undergraduate and graduate students, the Human Health Building also invites students between the seventh and ninth grades to explore the field of nursing through the Camp RN@OU program.

Camp RN@OU is a two-week pre-college summer program that aims to educate and inspire middle school students about careers in nursing. In 2015, the program is accepting just 50 participants, who will explore nursing through courses in biology, nursing forensics, and chemistry. In addition, each participant will achieve proficiency in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The camp begins on July 20th and continues on through July 31st. Applications must be submitted by May 30th; those selected must submit a $475 program fee to attend.

Comment Stream