Dr. Ronald S. Rochon became the University of Southern Indiana’s fourth president in July 2018, after eight years serving USI as provost.
In his first four years as president, he successfully secured over $250 million in state funding for capital projects and operations from his first two biennial budget presentations to the Indiana Legislature. He is currently seeking an additional $195 million for USI during this current budget session. Also, during this time period, the university has experienced increased growth in the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s performance funding metrics of overall degree completion, at-risk degree completion, STEM degree completion, student persistence, and on-time graduation.
Under his leadership, the University has implemented its third Strategic Plan: Accelerating Impact – which includes goals for improving student success, fostering impactful engagement, elevating the visibility and reputation of the university, and strengthening its financial viability, all of which he plans to achieve through collaborative community, regional, state, national, and global initiatives. In 2021, his leadership attracted the attention of an NCAA Division I conference which led the university to reclassify from Division II to Division I athletics. He intentionally guides the university to be a catalyst for change, creating a talented, educated citizenry that meets the leadership, entrepreneurial and workforce needs of today’s society.
Rochon’s academic and professional career has focused on advocating for educational excellence, access, equity and equality. He has taught classes on the history of American Education, culturally relevant and responsive teaching practices within Pre-K through grade 12 schools, and organizational leadership within higher educational settings. His body of work has centered on the needs and advancement of diverse learners within underserved schools and communities as well as their integral contributions to the larger society. His commitment to student success has been his lifelong career focus. He cultivates a campus culture where faculty and staff are dedicated to creating a community of care, where students are free to develop intellectually, emotionally, socially and culturally through their educational experiences.
During his tenure as provost, Rochon oversaw the revamping of the University Core Curriculum and UNIV 101 seminar course. In addition, while working with faculty within his tenured academic college, he led the approval process of USI’s second doctoral program in educational leadership. Rochon continues to work with faculty across the university to establish new opportunities and programs for undergraduate, graduate, and online learners while fostering best practices to recruit both domestic and international students to campus.
In October 2020, Dr. Rochon was appointed to Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet for a two-year term and to the Midwest Higher Education Compact in 2021. An active civic leader, Rochon serves on the boards of WNIN Public Broadcasting, Deaconess Health Systems, and the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, among others. In the broader higher education community, he serves on the NCAA Division I Ohio Valley Conference Board of Presidents and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Board of Directors. He was appointed AASCU Chair-Elect for 2023 before beginning a one-year term as Chair in 2024. Nationally, he serves as a board director for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) and was appointed chair for a two-year term beginning in 2023.
Rochon came to USI from Buffalo State in Buffalo, New York, where he served as the inaugural dean of the School of Education, associate vice president for Teacher Education and professor. He was director and co-founder of the Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, as well as interim associate dean and director of the school of education. He also served as chair of the Board of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (Washington, DC). His professional teaching career has included work at Texas A & M University, Washington State University, and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
President Rochon earned a bachelor’s degree at Tuskegee University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His doctoral work was in educational policy studies, with an emphasis in educational history and policy analysis. President Rochon and Mrs. Lynn Wade Rochon are both natives of Chicago, Illinois. They are the proud parents of two adult children.