Bob Hills, associate dean for academic programs, is retiring on September 1, after devoting 41 years of his professional career working with Rutgers undergraduate students. He joined Cook College in January 1976 as an assistant to the dean, working closely with then dean of instruction Dick Merritt and dean of students Roger Locandro in a variety of roles in student life and academics.
In the late 1980s Hills was promoted to associate dean and since then, has directed the Office of Academic Programs (OAP) at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. In that capacity, he’s overseen the day-to-day operations of the student services component of the office, including advising, registration, admissions, recruitment, scholastic standing, degree certification/graduation and all areas related to academic policies, procedures and programs.
“Bob’s dedication to students and their welfare, his compassion for their problems and concerns, and his leadership in promoting an office environment where student service is paramount has played a significant role in shaping and enhancing the academic lives of thousands of students over the last four decades,” said Rick Ludescher, dean of academic programs at the school.
“Although I will sorely miss his advice and guidance and the Office of Academic Programs his leadership and unparalleled knowledge of Rutgers policies and procedures, we understand the attraction of this new phase of his life, and thus forgive him.”
Assistant dean in OAP Lee D. Schneider is a long-time colleague and friend, whose acquaintance with Hills began in junior high school.
“Bob has been involved in all aspects of the college student experience – from student life to academic affairs. He is a humble, hard worker who has helped to create a great experience for the students – and was very successful at it,” said Schneider.
Lisa Rodenburg, professor in the Department of Environmental Science, expressed her appreciation for Hill’s service to students, a sentiment shared by many faculty at the school.
“Bob Hills has been invaluable to me as an undergraduate program director. He has handled the toughest cases–students who have lost parents, or have drug or alcohol issues–and he has done it with grace and compassion,” she said.
To celebrate Hill’s long and distinguished career at Rutgers, a buffet dinner will be held on Friday, September 15 from 4-6:00 pm at the Log Cabin at the Rutgers Gardens. RSVP to Latisha Crubaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or 848-932-3516 by September 7. Cost: $30 per person.