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Gary Russi

  • Former President of Oakland University Gary Russi


    For nearly two decades, Gary Russi served as the president of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. As the institution’s head administrator, Gary Russi worked to expand the school’s academic and social programming. Over the course of his tenure as president, he earned a number of recognitions, including the Executive of the Year Award from the Mayor’s Business Council of Rochester Hills. Much of his work, such as his participation in the Oakland County Business Roundtable and the Michigan Economic Center’s Investor-Leadership Council, sought to establish strong ties between the local community and the university. As president of Oakland University, Gary Russi invested more than $400 million into improving the experience of students by adding more than 60 new degree programs and increasing enrollment significantly. In addition, he created and implemented an admissions plan to increase the academic standard of incoming freshman classes. Before joining Oakland University, Mr. Russi worked at Drake University as a professor of pharmacology and toxicology among several administrative roles. These include director of university planning, executive assistant to the president, and vice president for research and strategic planning.

    Professional experience

    Retired President

    Oakland University

    July 1993 - August 2013(20 years)



    Kansas State University

    June 1969 - August 1972(3 years)