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April 25, 2014
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU names new vice president for finance and administration

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Amir Mohammadi, who currently serves as executive vice president and university treasurer at Delaware State University, has been named Slippery Rock University's new vice president for finance and administration.

SRU President Cheryl Norton made the appointment.

"We are truly pleased Dr. Mohammadi has accepted our offer, and we welcome him to the SRU family. His expertise and dedication to all facets of academic administration and academic life, along with his wealth of expertise not only in finance, but also in a broad array of higher education areas, including sustainability, made him an outstanding candidate. I look forward to working with him and have confidence he will provide the leadership that will allow Slippery Rock University to continue to serve as a model of 'best practices' in higher education."

"I would also like to thank Molly Mercer for her outstanding work as interim vice president for finance and administration. SRU was truly fortunate to have a person of her quality ready to step forward and provide leadership following the retirement of the former vice president and during the national search process," Norton said.

Mercer will return to her former position as assistant vice president for finance.

"I'm very excited that I will be joining the administrative team of such a visionary president and becoming a part of their continued commitment to higher education best practices, especially in the areas of financial integrity, transparency, accountability and sustainability," Mohammadi said. "I will strive to be a worthy addition to the team of Dr. Cheryl J. Norton."

He said he is looking forward to connecting his diverse administrative background with the existing sound thinking at SRU to further the mission and success of the institution, as it is a hidden treasure in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and beyond.

Mohammadi will join the university May 19.

In addition to his work as executive vice president and treasurer, a post he held since July 2011, Mohammadi also serves as interim dean of the College of Business, controller of the Delaware State University Development Foundation, president of the Student Housing Foundation at DSU and was a founding board member and treasurer of the DSU Early College High School program. He served on the advisory committee of the National Public Radio station, WDDE-FM, which brought the first NPR station to Delaware, and formerly served as vice president for finance, administration and treasurer, vice president of operations and student affairs at DSU.

On behalf of Delaware State University, Mohammadi was invited to the White House where he worked to create a partnership for energy reduction with the U.S. Department of Energy that resulted in DSU being selected as one of nine universities and colleges across the U.S. named to the "Better Building Challenge" program.

His work in energy conservation earned DSU a Second Nature Leadership Award from the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment where he is a member of the financing sustainability committee. SRU is among the universities to sign ACUPCC's climate commitment that seeks to reduce greenhouse gasses and other energy conservations.

He is credited with helping DSU reduce its energy consumption by $5.3 million, and decreasing its deferred maintenance by $6.2 million, while reducing the university's carbon footprint by 26 percent by implementing measures to increase energy efficiency and upgrade important facility systems using innovative options for financing capital improvements with energy savings.

In July 2011, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu commended "DSU as a model for sustainability for higher education and the nation" as part of the White House's energy program that put $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades into buildings.

Delaware State University, a 400-acre campus located in Dover, has an enrollment of 4,505 and was founded in 1891. It is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Before joining DSU in 2006, Mohammadi had worked at West Virginia University, including positions as associate vice president for generated revenue; associate vice president for student affairs, administration, finance and technology; chief university housing officer; assistant to the president at West Virginia University Potomac State College; and interim director of dining services.

He had also served as associate director of housing and residence life for administration and finance; assistant vice president for student affairs business operations; interim director of the university's department of housing and residence life; and assistant director for administration and finance in the department of housing and residence life.

Mohammadi was the controller for the School for Language and Communication Development in North Bellmore, N.Y., and had formerly served at Equitable Financial Services in Farmingdale, N.Y. He was a registered representative for NASD.

At Adelphi University, Mohammadi served as assistant dean and director of financial affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences; director of the Student Union and contracted services at the Ruth S. Harley University Center; assistant director of student accounts and bursar; and assistant director of the Adelphi University Center. He had formerly served as manager of the Rathskeller and as a security officer.

Mohammadi earned his doctorate in higher education leadership at Delaware State University where his dissertation was titled "An Examination into State Funding Policies for Higher Education and Their Effects on Postsecondary Enrollment at Selected Historical Black Colleges and Universities."

He earned his master in business administration with a concentration in management and finance at Adelphi University where he also earned his bachelor of science in banking and money management.

He is a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers Sustainability Advisory Panel.

He was appointed to the Delaware Governor's Economic Development Advisory Council and worked on its "A Vision for Delaware's Entrepreneurial Economy Advisory Council of Knowledge-based Economic Development" report. The DSU New Castle County Alumni Chapter recognized him as an outstanding leader.

Selected by the U.S. Army for accomplishments affecting the lives of young adults as community leaders, Mohammadi participated in the 2010 Army All-American Bowl in Texas.

The Dominion Post newspaper named him among the "Top 100 Most Influential" people in northern West Virginia, and he was recognized as a member of the West Virginia University enrollment management team by Noel Levitz, a national student recruiting consulting firm, for increasing the university's freshman class by 1,000 students.

He led DSU's negotiations for a $12 million lease agreement with an option to buy a 140 square-foot hotel near its Dover campus for additional student housing and its Early College High School.

He partnered with DSU's Academic Affairs division and other vice president to establish a universitywide, zero-based budgeting system.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.