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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

President Broderick Maintains Top-5 Rank in Annual Inside Business Power List

By Betsy Hnath

Inside Business, the Hampton Roads business journal, recently ranked Old Dominion President John R. Broderick's No. 4 on its annual Power List.

This is the second consecutive year President Broderick was ranked fourth. Inside Business annually selects the region's 25 most influential leaders.

During President Broderick's 10 years as president, "ODU has reached its highest retention and graduation levels," the article said. "Faculty are engaged in top national academic research, and funding is flowing in to support their work, which is receiving national recognition and honors."

Since he became president, Old Dominion has emerged as a research leader in fields from flooding resiliency to cybersecurity to bioelectrics, where the University is pioneering advances in cancer treatment and cardiac procedures.

President Broderick was featured in a December 2017 Chronicle of Higher Education profile in which he detailed Old Dominion's resiliency efforts.

During his tenure, Old Dominion also has received more than $765 million in new resources. From 2010 to 2017, the value of the University's endowment rose nearly 50 percent to $214 million.

In 2013, Old Dominion received an $11 million gift from alumnus Mark Strome to create the Strome Entrepreneurial Center, realizing President Broderick's vision to expand entrepreneurial initiatives for students inside and outside the classroom.

Old Dominion added a unique feature in the fall of 2017 with the opening of THE Monarch Way, a retail store run by students and selling the products of student, alumni, faculty and staff entrepreneurs.

In an interview with Inside Business, President Broderick cited flexibility and evolution as keys to the success of the University.

"We were a leader 50 years ago in producing teachers. We're still very proud of that," Broderick said. At the same time, "we've had a commitment the entire time the doors have been open here to support the arts.

"I think you can see if you've come by or drive around the campus the improvements we continue to make in supporting the arts as evidenced by the $35 million gift for the Barry Art Museum," he said.

Still, ODU remains committed to its STEM-H specialties, as evidenced in the Virginia Beach health sciences expansion set to begin in the fall. The University also has the second-largest percentage of degrees awarded in STEM-H (science, technology, engineering, math and health care) fields among Virginia's research universities.

Broderick said the ultimate goal is to ensure "whether this is your home as a student or whether it's your workplace as an employee that your goals and aspirations, as well as your desires and passions, can be achieved here."

In all, 21 percent of those recognized on this year's Power List are connected to Old Dominion University.

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