President's Biography

Dr. George E. Ross, appointed the fourteenth president of Central Michigan University on March 1, 2010, believes in the transformative power of education on individual lives and the future of our communities, state and nation.

With a powerful focus on students, Dr. Ross leads the fourth largest public university in Michigan and one of the 100 largest in America.  CMU opened in 1892 offering teaching and business degrees and has since evolved to become a leading public university with a strong liberal arts focus, known as well for its excellence in health sciences, science, technology, engineering and math programs.

CMU in January 2017 will open a $95 million Biosciences Building being constructed with state, private and university funds. The university has nationally recognized programs in physical therapy, audiology, speech-language pathology and athletic training. Its undergraduate neuroscience program is ranked No. 1 in America and its 10-year-old undergraduate engineering program has become one of the nation's top 100. CMU is considered a leading Great Lakes research institution, directing a $10 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Under Dr. Ross' direction, CMU opened America's 137th college of medicine in 2013 with a distinctive mission to prepare physicians desperately needed to serve rural and medically underserved communities. The university's business college is the North American leader in information systems, with more CMU students earning their SAP TERP10 certification than students from the second-, third- and fourth-most successful universities combined. Likewise, CMU sales students have ranked top in the nation two years in a row.

CMU has an acclaimed Global Campus that serves more than 7,000 students across the nation at nearly 50 remote locations and online. CMU's online undergraduate programs are ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Dr. Ross has led CMU through an extensive strategic planning process and a massive campus master planning effort to prepare for the next decade and beyond. He has championed a successful shared governance and communications effort that is now in its third year, and he rallied the university community as a whole to address the effect of Michigan's declining high school population on enrollment.

Dr. Ross has 28 years of higher education leadership and management experience. Prior to assuming the CMU presidency, he served as president of Alcorn State University, founded in 1871 as the nation's first public historically black land-grant university. Before that, he was vice president for finance and administrative services at Central Michigan University, executive vice president at Clark Atlanta University, executive vice chancellor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and vice president for business affairs at Tuskegee University.  Formerly a practicing certified public accountant, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Michigan State University, a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama, and has completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.

Dr. Ross has long been involved in cutting-edge methods of teaching and learning and is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). He previously served on a national Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education.

He is a board member of the Michigan College Access Network, the Michigan representative on the Council of State Representatives for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), a member of the AASCU Committee on Professional Development, and is board chair of the Central Michigan University Research Corporation.

His focus on students is reflected in a continued engagement in traditional and nontraditional teaching and learning. Dr. Ross has held adjunct and associate professor ranks at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has developed continuing education materials and taught professional development courses for organizations such as the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers, and the Southern Education Foundation.

As a nationally recognized leader in higher education, Dr. Ross has presented seminars, workshops and lectures in higher education leadership, budget, administration and finance to universities and organizations such as the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, AASCU and the Summer Institute for Women in Higher Education at Bryn Mawr College.

A proponent of civic engagement and giving back, Dr. Ross has served on local, state and regional planning and economic development boards, countywide strategic planning committees, neighborhood development organizations and chambers of commerce.

Dr. Ross and his wife, Elizabeth, have two adult daughters, Roshaunda and Joronda.

October 2014