Dr. Richard Hodges, OBE retires from his role as President today, 30 June, 2020, after 8 years leading The American University of Rome (AUR).
The Board of Trustees of AUR is delighted to announce that Dr. Hodges has been honored with the titles of President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus in recognition of his significant contributions to the development of AUR, support of student and faculty activities, and services to the AUR community as a whole during his tenure.
Dr. Hodges has had a long and highly distinguished academic management career. In addition to his work with AUR, he has served as Director of the British School at Rome (1988–95), Professor and Director of the Institute of World Archaeology at the University of East Anglia in Norwich (1996–2007), and former Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia (2007- 2012). Dr. Hodges took up his role as the 12th President of AUR in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and successfully navigated the university through that crisis at a moment when many larger institutions failed to survive.
Over the following 8 years, Dr. Hodges firmly established AUR as a recognized center of academic excellence and a leader of American education in Europe.
Focusing on the core mission and values of AUR, Dr. Hodges developed both the full-time and adjunct faculties into a world-class team of academics, while bringing excellence and professionalism to the university’s supporting services. With the help of that team, in 2015, he opened the Graduate School at AUR, introducing a unique set of Master’s Degree programs to the university’s roster and giving a whole new set of students the chance to experience Rome as one of the best places in the world to study.
Dr. Hodges’ inherent understanding of the place of the Liberal Arts in the 21st Century led him to significantly increase the educational breadth of AUR’s undergraduate studies with a sharp focus on internships and real-world international experiential learning, thereby taking great advantage of all that Rome has to offer as a classroom, and enhancing each student’s classroom studies and prospects for post-graduate employment.
Alongside these improvements, Dr. Hodges’ enviable personal reputation as one of the most recognized archaeological academics in the world today has helped open doors to partnerships and development opportunities that have cemented AUR’s brand in Rome and across the globe.
In acknowledging the many contributions of Dr. Hodges to AUR, the Acting Chair and Chair-Elect of the Board of Trustees, on behalf of the entire Board and AUR community, expressed their gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Hodges for his inspired leadership, dedication, and guidance over the past 8 years and stated: "Dr. Hodges leaves an institution that, through his work and leadership, is stronger and more self-assured in its mission than ever before."
With Dr. Hodges’ retirement, AUR looks forward to welcoming President Hodges’ successor, President-elect, Scott Sprenger. Professor Sprenger will begin his tenure on the 1st of July in the midst of one of the most challenging educational landscapes in history. Just like when Dr. Hodges joined AUR during the financial crisis and took the university to new heights, the entire community looks forward to Dr. Sprenger’s guidance to continue to lead the university from strength to strength.