Rowan University's President Ali Houshmand has been named as one of ROI-NJ's top influencers in higher education for the third year in a row. - Photo via

Rowan University’s President Ali Houshmand has been named as one of ROI-NJ’s top influencers in higher education for the third year in a row.

“The state — especially South Jersey — is fortunate to have such a visionary thinker guiding what is becoming one of its premier institutions of higher ed,” ROI stated on its 2021 Influencer Power List for higher education.

“Dr. Houshmand makes this list regularly because of his vision and the institution’s role as a major economic driver in the state,” said Joe Cardona, the vice president for university relations and university spokesperson.

Houshmand became Rowan University’s seventh president in 2012 and has been a uniquely valuable leader for Rowan ever since. Houshmand was also recently named in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Power 100 of 2021.

“Houshmand hasn’t just transformed Rowan University over the past decade that he’s led the school, he’s also transformed its hometown of Glassboro and sparked a wave of local economic development,” the Power 100 article states.

Rowan is certainly lucky to have an entrepreneurial and innovative leader at the helm.

“Houshmand is a dynamic leader whose personal connection with students, employees, alumni, government leaders, the business community and the public have become a hallmark of his presidency. A lifelong believer in the power of education… he has applied an entrepreneurial approach to growing the university,” his biography on Rowan’s website states.

Even with the recent recognition of Houshmand’s dedication, he remains humble and deflects his success to the university itself.

“He appreciates the honor, but he would be the first to say that it’s really a reflection of the work of all those at the university,” Cardona said.

In a nutshell, Houshmand has overseen Rowan’s Cooper Medical School’s opening, committed to never raising tuition above inflation rates and has his own charitable brand of hot sauce.

Through summer 2018, Houshmand’s Hazardous Hot Sauce sales generated nearly $25,000 to support the Student Emergency Scholarship Fund.

Rowan’s seventh president was also named to the ROI Influencers: People of Color 2020 list last summer. Rowan’s faculty, staff, administrators and most of all, its students, should be proud to have one of the foremost leaders in New Jersey as their university president.

For comments/questions about this story, email or tweet @TheWhitOnline.