Dr. Frank E. Ross III is currently the senior student affairs officer at Butler University— ranked the No. 1 Regional University in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report, as well as No. 1 Most Innovative School, and No. 1 for Undergraduate Teaching. Butler is ranked nationally for its first-year experience and study abroad opportunities.
His 26-year career in higher education spans both public and private universities – having spent a majority of his time on campuses in urban/ metropolitan areas. He joined Butler after serving as Vice President for Student Life at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Before that he was the Vice President for Student Affairs at Northeastern Illinois University, which is a Hispanic-Serving Institution located in Chicago.
Dr. Ross is a national leader in the student affairs profession with involvement in NASPA, the preeminent international association dedicated to the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. He served as a member of the NASPA Board of Directors, was the national director of Knowledge Communities, and served as chair for the 2016 NASPA Annual Conference. He also was a member of the James E. Scott Academy Board for senior student affairs officers, and served as a faculty member for the NASPA Institute for New VPSAs. Currently, he is the chair of the NASPA Advisory Services steering committee.
Throughout his career, passion and commitment to civic engagement has guided his work, with involvement in the AASCU American Democracy Project, the NASPA Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement initiative, and the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. He was named a Strategic Civic Leader Fellow by Campus Compact and the McCormick Foundation.
He earned his PhD in higher education from Indiana University, and then completed the higher education management development program at Harvard University. The majority of his scholarship has focused on student development and success in the first college year, with a special emphasis on civic engagement and underrepresented student success. Frank previously served as the Editor of the Journal of Learning Communities Research, and guest Editor for Metropolitan Universities Journal. His latest publication is a book focusing on professional competencies in student affairs.
Dr. Ross has received awards and recognition for his work and research from NASPA, the National Resource Center on the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, the National Academic Advising Association, the American Association of Colleges and Universities, and the American College Personnel Association. In addition, he received the 2016 Robert H. Shaffer Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University.