Mark Lombardi, PhD, has served as the 10th president of Maryville University since 2007. In that time, Maryville has achieved unprecedented growth and earned national distinction for leading a revolution that is transforming the face of higher education.

Leading the Revolution in Higher Education

Since his 2007 inauguration, Dr. Lombardi has provided visionary leadership for Maryville University. Nationally, he is recognized as a thought leader in the higher education revolution and is frequently called upon to address Maryville University’s significant advances in educational access, the creation of Maryville’s Active Learning Ecosystem, its learning diagnostics and technology, partnerships and its cutting edge life coaching model.

Personal Statement About Higher Education

“I believe in the innovation imperative for higher education. This means that we must reshape the old model of higher education into a dynamic, nimble, creative enterprise which ultimately removes barriers to learning and creates greater access to education for all students. This means that everything in the academic setting should be challenging, stretching students to achieve, but everything outside of that should be a service that is easy, seamless and cutting edge. At Maryville, we fulfill that ethos by creating a model that puts students at the center of the learning. By using state of the art learning diagnostics and a problem solving, action oriented pedagogy Maryville is helping students own their academic journey and transforming the future of higher education at a pace more common in the entrepreneurial world than in academia. Our efforts have led to proven graduation 76% and career placement outcomes 97%.”

During his tenure, Maryville University has more than tripled enrollment to over 10,000 students hailing from 50 states and 60 countries. Maryville is the fourth fastest growing university in the nation over the last 15 years. Maryville University has been named TWICE (2016-2018 & 2018-2021) as an Apple Distinguished School for its leadership, excellence and innovation.

The Saints participate in NCAA Division II Athletics and compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Maryville has been honored with the NCAA Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence for the past four out of 5 years—including one year in which Maryville was the only school in the U.S. with a 100 percent student-athlete graduation rate.

Career Achievements

For 30 years, at three different institutions, Dr. Lombardi has served as a tenured faculty member, department chair, director of international programs, vice president for Academic Affairs, provost and president. He has also served as executive director of the U.S.-Africa Education Foundation.

Dr. Lombardi has significant teaching experience in U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Soviet relations, African politics and global issues. He was a tenured full professor at the University of Tampa and he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the board of trustees of the College of Santa Fe in 2007.

Dr. Lombardi has also given over 200 interviews in print and video media on issues ranging from US foreign policy to the future of higher education.

Dr. Lombardi earned his doctorate and master’s in political science and international relations from The Ohio State University and his bachelor’s in political science from Purdue University.

Dr. Lombardi is a noted author, publishing several articles and three books, one of which will soon be in its 10th edition. He is also co-author of a recently released book entitled Pivot: A Vision for the New University.

Community Engagement

Dr. Lombardi was recently elected chair of the St. Louis Sports Commission and is a member of the Board Of Governors NCAA Committee on Diversity and Equity as well as a longtime participant in the NCAA Pathways program. He currently serves on the Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents (Chair, 2013-2017). Previously, he served as a board member with The Lifelong Vision Foundation, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Wells Fargo, the Executive Committee of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, the Foreign Affairs Council and the US-Africa Education Foundation.