Dr. Eddy Rojas rose above a strong pool of candidates for the search committee tasked with vetting replacements to fill the executive vice president and provost role. The position became available when Dr. Richard Plumb announced his departure spring semester.
Rojas is a lifelong learner with a gentle smile and an impressive track record. He’s excelled with raising student retention rates, championing gender equity among faculty, increasing new faculty hires from historically underrepresented groups and fostering donor relations while leading comprehensive campaigns.
He most recently served seven years as dean of the School of Engineering at the University of Dayton and 24 years as a faculty member at four institutions of higher education. A first- generation college student raised Catholic in Costa Rica, he obtained seven degrees from three different universities, including Penn State. In May 2021, he obtained a master’s degree in the psychology of leadership to round out two other master’s degrees in education and economics and his doctorate in civil engineering.
St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan said, “I am confident that Dr. Rojas brings the right combination of passion for our Catholic mission, transformational mindset and collaborative, servant leadership style that will serve our community well in the years ahead.”
Rojas, whose appointment began Aug. 1, said he looks forward to helping fulfill the St. Thomas 2025 strategic plan. “I enjoy helping others succeed and, as provost, I think that I'm going to help faculty, staff and students really be successful and reach their dreams and aspirations.”
As for challenges: “Higher education will get incredibly competitive over the next five to 10 years,” he added. “To attract the students of the quality that we want, the key is to be able to differentiate ourselves from other institutions. So, we’re going to have to make that case loud and clear.”