City Club of Chicago: Charting a Future Course in Higher Education

City Club of Chicago

Dr. Ali R. Malekzadeh, Mablene Krueger and Robert Jordan during the Charting a Future Course in Higher Education panel at City Club of Chicago, March 10, 2020 (City Club of Chicago)

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March 10, 2020

Charting a Future Course in Higher Education – Moderated by Robert Jordan – Dr. Ali R. Malekzadeh & Mablene Krueger

Mablene Krueger

Mablene Krueger, M.B.A. is the ninth president of Robert Morris University Illinois, is a strategic academic leader who has a distinguished career in higher education for over 35 years. She is passionate about the strengths and challenges of first-generation students.

As President of Robert Morris, Krueger spearheaded a plan to refocus the Institution on its core mission and focus on student outcomes. These efforts led to consolidating campuses, streamlining services, and restructuring the institutional discount model to more tightly align with the mission, resulting in significant institutional savings while increasing opportunities for first-generation, under-resourced students. With the goal of leading RMU to become the Midwest’s leading experiential university, Krueger’s priorities for the institution include building additional career-related majors, taking full advantage of the educational, cultural, ethnic, and entertainment partnership opportunities provided by a world-class city, and providing opportunities to unlock the potential of first-generation students.

In addition to her Associate Degree from Robert Morris, Krueger holds a B.A. in Management and an M.B.A. from University of Illinois at Springfield and a certificate in IT Systems from the University of Chicago. She currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer for the Executive Committee of the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities, Treasurer for the Yes We Must Coalition, and as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission. Most recently, she was elected as the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s (CCAC) Council of Presidents representative to the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Krueger is a nationally certified Experiential Educator through the National Society for Experiential Education. She also works closely with the leadership teams of America’s Urban Campus and Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative.

Dr. Ali Malekzadeh

Ali R. Malekzadeh, PhD, the sixth president of Roosevelt University, is an expert in strategic management, an accomplished fundraiser and a visionary academic leader who has served in higher education for more than 20 years. He believes that access to higher education is every American’s right and one of the pathways to living the American Dream.

At Roosevelt, Malekzadeh champions the University’s mission of social justice. He is passionate on issues of women’s and LGBTQ rights, immigration, affirmative action, and access to higher education. One of Malekzadeh’s signature accomplishments is the creation of the American Dream Reconsidered Conference, an annual three-day event free to the public discussing issues related to law, politics and the pursuit of the American Dream. Since becoming Roosevelt’s president in 2015, Malekzadeh has worked to raise over $37 million for student scholarships and grants, continues to stabilize enrollments and identify creative solutions to increase new revenue sources.

Prior to Roosevelt, Malekzadeh served for four years as the dean of the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University. He also spent a combined 13 years as dean of the business schools at Xavier University in Cincinnati and St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Malekzadeh earned his doctorate in business administration with an emphasis on strategic management from the University of Utah, and a bachelor’s in management and Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver. Malekzadeh is also a member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.

Robert H. Jordan, Jr.

Robert H. Jordan, Jr., is a retired, weekend anchor for WGN-TV’s News at Nine. Jordan’s journalism career has spanned close to 50 years and has showcased his exceptional writing and verbal communication skills. Jordan recently published his first book, entitled, “Murder in The News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime.” During the Fall Quarter of 2014, Jordan was the first Journalist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago. Jordan earned his undergraduate degree from Roosevelt University, a master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from Loyola University in Chicago. Since retiring, Jordan has been focusing his energy on his video production company that produces luxury, documentary-style, legacy biographies for Ultra-High-Net-Worth-families across the country. These private family histories help multi-generational families preserve and protect their exceptional histories. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Jordan and his wife Sharon, a retired middle school librarian, have one daughter, Karen, who is a weekend news anchor for WLS-TV, Ch.-7, in Chicago. Karen’s husband Christian Farr is a reporter for NBC-5, TV in Chicago. The Farrs have two children, a girl, Vivian and a boy, John Robert Farr.

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