Mr. Robert D. James presently serves as an owner of a management consultant firm and speaker service. Most recently he served as Vice-President for Student Affairs at Victory University, a small Christian College in Memphis, Tennessee. He was responsible for all retention activities, Residence Life, Career services, Advisement, Counseling, Student Life and Athletics. Mr. James joined the Victory staff after retiring from the SUNY System Administration team in May, 2012, where he served as Associate Provost for Opportunity Programs for 22 years.
As Associate Provost for Opportunity Programs, Mr. James was responsible for the administrative oversight of the University’s undergraduate and graduate access programs for New York State’s underprivileged population. The Office of Opportunity Programs is responsible for providing funding to 43 participating campuses for program operation, provides training for campus directors, and enforces policy guidelines to ensure compliance with the legislative intent of the program. Each year, approximately 11, 000 students are served.
Prior to that position Mr James served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Special Programs where, in addition to being responsible for the undergraduate and graduate programs on SUNY campuses, he managed and provided funding and oversight to SUNY’s Educational Opportunity Centers, Counseling and Outreach Centers and the Bridge program. Annual Budgets for these programs ranged from 50 to 70 million dollars.
While the last 22 years have been spent as Associate Provost for Opportunity Programs, Robert James served the opportunity programs community, across New York State, for the last 34 years. Mr. James was formerly Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at SUNY College at Brockport in 1976 and Director of the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center in 1979. During his service as Senior Director of the Office of Special Programs in 1989, Robert served as Interim Executive Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute of Non-Violence.
He has served on many boards during his career and has received numerous awards for outstanding service to the profession and community including the New York State Governor’s Award. After serving as President for ten-years, Mr. James currently serves as the Tri-State Administrator for the Tri-State Consortium of Opportunity Programs in Higher Education, which joins opportunity programs across the states of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania
Mr. James academic endeavors resulted in a Bachelor Degree in Science and Master of Science Degree from SUNY Brockport in 1972 and 1975 respectively. He has completed all coursework for his doctorate in Education Administration at SUNY Albany and will soon complete his dissertation. He is married to Cheryl Holley- James and has three children and five grandchildren.
Areas of expertise: Managing and funding of Access programs for At-Risk students in Higher Education, Retention Strategies for at-risk students in higher education, Public speaking, Enhancing Black Male persistence in Education, Mediation and conflict resolution and Counseling, self and wealth development.