Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D.
President, Howard University
Sidney A. Ribeau is the 16th president of Howard University and the sixth African American to serve as its chief executive officer. Since taking office in August 2008, Ribeau has initiated a comprehensive academic renewal for all 170 plus programs; initiated a $200 million facilities renewal initiative; improved the University’s infrastructure and business operations; expanded the university's international footprint; solidified its legacy of leadership and service; and enhanced its research capabilities, particularly in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.
Recognizing students as one of Howard University's greatest resources, many of his initiatives have put focus on improving their educational experiences. One example of such an initiative is the Bridging the Gap Student Aid Campaign, launched in the spring of 2012, which seeks to establish $25 million in unrestricted and endowed scholarship funds to support these deserving students.
Before coming to Howard University, Ribeau began serving as the president of Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Bowling Green, OH in 1995. Over the course of his 13-year tenure, he initiated and led a comprehensive campaign that raised more than $180 million to fund a number of initiatives, including the modernization of a regional campus. Under his leadership, the university was also recognized for its residential learning communities, values-based education, and innovative graduate programs.
Ribeau holds a B.S. degree from Wayne State University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Communications from the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. He began his teaching career in 1976, when he joined the California State University Los Angeles faculty as a professor of communication studies. He received accolades as an outstanding instructor and student adviser, and, in 1984, was named the chair of the university's Pan African Studies Department. He held this position until 1987, when he was named dean of Undergraduate Studies. Three years later, Ribeau was appointed dean of the College of Liberal Arts at California Polytechnic State University, and, in 1992, he was named vice president for Academic Affairs.
He currently serves on the board of directors for a number of organizations, including the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association–College Retirement Equities Fund, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Worthington Industries, the Association of Governing Boards, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the Consortium of University Presidents. He has received distinguished alumnus awards from Wayne State University and the University of Illinois; scholarly recognition from the National Communication Association and the President's Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. This year, the World Affairs Council named him the 2012 Educator of the Year.
For the fall 2012 school semester, President Ribeau joined the world of social media by launching a Twitter account and a blog, “The President’s Corner.” In line with his goal to better connect to the University community, he has used these platforms to gather and share news and information about the great things being done at Howard, as well as some of his own personal insights from his 36 years of experience in the field of education.
Dr. Ribeau is married to Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau. They are the proud parents of three children.