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Rosa takes helm at Citadel

President spends day in meetings
By Brian Hicks of The Post and Courier
Republished with permission

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The Citadel's 19th president arrived for his first day of work Tuesday with nary a knob around to salute him.

But everyone else was happy to see Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa take the helm. He spent most of his first day in meetings.

"The members of the board, the staff and faculty are really excited to have John and Donna as our president and first lady," said Arthur Baiden III, vice chairman of the Board of Visitors.

To accept The Citadel's top post, Rosa retired after 32 years in the U.S. Air Force. Most recently, he was superintendent of the Air Force Academy. He has been finishing his work there since being named Citadel president in June.

Rosa, 53, is an Air Force command pilot with more than 3,600 flying hours. He was deputy director for operations with the Joint Staff at the Pentagon before taking over at the Air Force Academy in 2003. He holds a master's degree in public administration from Golden Gate University.

Best of all, he wears The Ring. Rosa is a 1973 graduate of The Citadel.

"He's young. He's got a lot of experience with the administration of military and educational institutes," Baiden said. "So we are looking forward to him being here for a good while."

Rosa earned a reputation of turning around the Air Force Academy, taking it through sex-assault and athlete-steroids controversies. His new gig should be a little easier. Rosa inherits The Citadel in great shape.

The last president, Maj. Gen. John Grinalds, deftly navigated the military college into a coeducational facility. Since Grinalds left in August, Maj. Gen. Roger C. Poole has served as interim president.

"Cliff Poole did a wonderful job for us," Baiden said.

Now, Baiden said, fundraising is up, alumni are excited and involved, and the school's national rankings are better than they have ever been.

So that is the school where Rosa takes the reins. His students return this weekend, and classes begin Jan. 11. By then, every cadet on campus will know the new president on sight.

He's the guy who's been in all those meetings since starting work.

» Rosa takes helm at Citadel
© 2006 The Citadel, Charleston, SC 29409 USA
Phone: (843) 225-3294