President Robert L. Manuel, Ph.D.
Innovator and Collaborator
Robert Manuel came to the University of Indianapolis in July 2012 from Georgetown University, where he was associate provost and dean of the School of Continuing Studies. As a higher education administrator, first at New York University and then at Georgetown, he has been recognized for his development and implementation of innovative academic programming–including graduate, undergraduate, online, and customized educational programs.
Immediately after joining UIndy, President Manuel spearheaded a comprehensive strategic planning process, Vision 2030. This highly inclusive process culled opinions from 1,600 individual sources and resulted in development of a clear direction forward for the University. Some 32 initiatives were identified to drive the University toward excellence and distinction in three focal areas: (1) the student experience and engagement, (2) faculty/staff excellence, and (3) community involvement and engagement.
In his six years at Georgetown, President Manuel revamped the university's only part-time bachelor's degree program, launched nine new master’s degree programs and increased enrollments in all programs by more than 200 percent. His emphasis on connecting the academic environment with corporate, non-profit and government organizations was the driving force behind the school’s growth and success.
As dean of Continuing Studies, President Manuel was responsible for the overall management of the school, including all academic programs, the creation and maintenance of faculty and student cultures, administrative and financial oversight, new program creation, and industry/government engagement. The school, one of eight degree-granting entities at Georgetown, enrolls more than 6,000 students across three locations—two in Washington, D.C., and one in Clarendon, Virg.
As Georgetown’s associate provost, President Manuel was responsible for working with the leadership of the Center for Social Justice, Research and Teaching, the Diversity Action Council, the Veteran’s Affairs initiative, and the Senior Vice President for Research/Chief Technical Officer.
At New York University from 2000 to 2006, prior to Georgetown, President Manuel served in the office of the Vice President for Enrollment Services, and also held the positions of Chief Information Officer, Assistant Dean and Clinical Associate Professor at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
President Manuel recently completed a term on the editorial advisory board for the Continuing Higher Education Review, and was appointed to a two-year term on the national advisory board of the University Professional & Continuing Education Association. Since he got to work nearly five years ago, Dr. Manuel has been driving transformation at the University of Indianapolis, uniting faculty, students, and community members through his forward-thinking methodology. Early results from initial initiatives include stronger financial stability, increased retention, and better graduation rates.
President Manuel continues to support and drive the University’s mission. He knows the growth of the university isn’t just driven by continued success, but by growing needs in the world we live in. Vision 2030, our vision for the future of University of Indianapolis exists for this reason. This ambitious collection of more than 1,000 ideas from 1,500 members of the institution is built on a foundation of service, leadership, and our collective ability to make a positive impact in our increasingly complex society. This renewed focus demands that we remain true to our traditions while competitively driving innovation on campus and in the workplace, that we continue to grow as an anchor of our ever-expanding community, and that we seed greater interaction and engagement with our expansive alumni network. These actions help expand the boundaries of thought, shape the future of our institution and build the trajectory of all connected to it. Everyone has a part to play in Vision 2030. But as President Manuel often says, our vision for the future of UIndy starts with you.
President Manuel is also a steward of the ideas and passions of his students. His active presence in the campus community helps him craft strategies unique to the University of Indianapolis, informed by this distinctive environment and culture, that connect students to one another, to industries and to the community. It also helps students get to know President Manuel personally and to participate in his vision, as he shares information, asks questions and highlights university accomplishments.
This approach reflects the scope of mission of the University’s mission. It doesn’t end at the quality of the incredible education you’ll receive, but in how you’re prepared to lead, long after you’ve graduated.
As we grow, President Manuel continues to model his leadership style on its legacy of personal connection and engagement, while launching the strategic, innovative partnerships, infrastructure and programs shaping our campus, our community, our world, and your future.
President Manuel has a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Allegheny College, a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Syracuse University and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from New York University.