Editor’s Note: This article was first published by Sierra Nevada University and can be viewed here.
After an extensive search, Sierra Nevada University has secured a new president for the institution. Dr. Rob Valli [UC-Berkeley ’82], an alumnus of UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Cambridge universities, has accepted the position at SNU Tahoe. He replaces current interim president Dr. Ed Zschau as of August 31, 2020. Dr. Valli comes to SNU Tahoe from his most recent role as Dean of Long Island University Post’s College of Management.
While at LIU Post, Dr. Valli collaborated on programs such as the M.S. in Data Analytics and Strategic Business Intelligence, and the B.S. in Sports Management. Valli also worked to help create LIU’s one-year Global MBA program where students studied at LIU in New York, Fudan University in China, and Cambridge University in the U.K. He initiated the LIU-iQ program, where student consultants worked on projects with cross-disciplinary applications for clients in real-time. Customized education programs featured collaborations with international faculty, and his courses “Foundations in Entrepreneurship” and “Idea to Enterprise” offered students cross-disciplinary engaged learning projects. Interdisciplinarity, teamwork, and collaboration are central to Dr. Valli’s vision, as they are central to Sierra Nevada University and the College of Entrepreneurial Leadership campus in Incline Village.
Dr. Valli’s academic experience draws from a deep background in engaged learning and interdisciplinary coordination. His expertise leading both STEM and liberal arts students alike guides their self-efficacy and emotional intelligence development. His career trajectory spans academic administration, non-profit policy development, investment banking, and Silicon Valley ventures, offering a unique arsenal of hybrid skills essential to modern-day college leaders.
“I am grateful and excited to welcome Dr. Valli’s energy and extensive experience to the Sierra Nevada University team. The application of his depth and breadth of expertise to the Board’s vision for SNU will create opportunities and outcomes for our students, the likes of which we have only begun to envision,” stated Dr. Atam Lalchandani, Chair, Sierra Nevada University Board of Trustees. “I am confident his enthusiasm to engage with students, faculty, staff, and our community at large will ensure a successful future for SNU.”
Dr. Ed Zschau, who served as the SNU Interim President for the past 15 months, expressed his strong support for Dr. Valli’s appointment. “I am delighted that Rob will be leading Sierra Nevada University in the years ahead. He brings a wealth of international connections and a well-developed entrepreneurial mindset across disciplines and departments. Dr. Valli’s arrival at Sierra Nevada University validates SNU’s commitment to entrepreneurship, expands the interdisciplinarity inherent in the small campus setting, and supports the long-standing history of producing enterprise creators across all disciplines on the shores of Lake Tahoe.”