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Robert C. Dickeson, Ph.D.

Strategic Advisor

Dr. Dickeson provides counsel from multiple leadership perspectives: chair of the governor’s cabinets in two states; university president; business CEO; and foundation executive.  He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Missouri, and he has served on the graduate faculties of four universities. Dr. Dickeson served as the director of the department of administration and chair of the cabinet of Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt; and chief of staff, executive director of the office of state planning and budget, and chair of the cabinet of Colorado Governor Roy Romer.  He served in administrative posts at three universities and was president of the University of Northern Colorado from 1981 to 1991.  He served as president and CEO of Noel-Levitz Centers, Inc., division president of USA Enterprises, Inc., and senior vice president of USA Group, Inc., heading the USA Group Foundation.  From 2000 to 2005, he was Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Lumina Foundation for Education.

A national leader in higher education, Dr. Dickeson has chaired blue-ribbon commissions appointed by three governors in two states, has been an officer of 40 corporate, government, foundation or public affairs organizations, and served as Commissioner from Colorado to the Education Commission of the States.  He was a charter member of the President’s Forum on Teaching as a Profession, an elected member of the President’s Commission of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a member of the National Commission on Minorities in Higher Education, a National Consultant with the Office of Women in Higher Education, and chaired the Council of Doctoral-Granting Institutions of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.  He is a past president of the Association of Public College and University Presidents, a seminar faculty member and mentor for the Fellows Program of the American Council on Education, and co-founder of the Renaissance Group of Universities. 

The author of more than 175 publications in the fields of higher education leadership and policy and public administration, Dr. Dickeson taught annually for 24 years, in addition to his administrative or governmental duties.  While at Lumina Foundation, he led the national initiative on college costs, based on his monograph, Collision Course: Rising college costs threaten America’s future and require shared solutions (Lumina Foundation, 2004). His book, Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services (Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999) was based on his extensive consulting experiences including serving several hundred two- and four-year colleges (private and public) and corporations ranging from hospitals to bank holding companies.  During 2006, he served as Senior Policy Adviser to the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education. 

His national awards include: “Outstanding Service Award” (ACE); “Outstanding University President” (AACTE); “Meritorious Service Award” (AASCU); “Support to Women in Government and Higher Education Award”; “Faculty-Alumni Award” (University of Missouri); and “Distinguished Service Award” (Sigma Alpha Epsilon International Fraternity).