The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Board of Trustees, meeting today, voted unanimously to name Robert A. Coons as the institute’s 16th president, effective immediately.

Coons, who has been serving as acting president since the resignation of Jim Conwell on Nov. 7, has nearly 30 years of service to Rose-Hulman, most recently as senior vice president and chief administrative officer for the last six years. He also served as interim president during the 2012-13 school year; was chief administrative officer from 2005 to 2012; and formerly served as vice president for business and finance, and controller.

“Rob is well prepared for this key leadership role, and the Board of Trustees has full confidence that he is the right person to keep Rose-Hulman moving forward in meeting its future challenges,” said Board Chair Niles Noblitt. “Rob has earned the respect of trustees, faculty, staff and alumni, and many encouraged the trustees to select him.”

Noblitt noted that Coons played a key role in organizing the framework for the formulation of the goals and strategies in the institute’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018. Under Coons’ guidance many of these strategies are now being implemented through the Mission Driven Campaign for Rose-Hulman, an initiative that’s well on the way to achieving its $250 million fundraising goal by December 2020.

Coons, who joined Rose-Hulman in 1989, received the President’s Outstanding Service Award in 2010 and was named an honorary Rose-Hulman alumnus by the Alumni Association in 2013.

“Rose-Hulman is a special place with a real sense of community and a commitment to excellence,” Coons said. “We have made great strides with our strategic plan, yet still have much progress to make in diversity, strategic partnerships, scholarship support, and community involvement. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that Rose-Hulman not only remains a national leader in science, engineering and mathematics education, but also continues to set the bar for others.”

Coons has served as vice president of the Indiana Risk Management Association Board of Trustees and past president of the Indiana Association of College and University Business Officers. He is a former member of Indiana’s TechPoint Board of Directors. He also has held various committee appointments on the Central Association of College and University Business Officers. In 2014 he was a finalist for the Indiana Business Journal’s Chief Financial Officer of the Year award.

In the Terre Haute community, Coons serves as a member of the Union Health Systems (UHS)/Union Hospital Board and its medical group and audit committees, and chairs the governance committee. He is a past treasurer and finance committee chair of the United Way of the Wabash Valley, a past president of Vigo County Lifeline, a graduate of Leadership Terre Haute, and a member of the Terre Haute Rotary Club, which presented Coons with its Vocational Service Award in 2014.

Coons earned a master‘s of business administration from Indiana State University and a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University. He was recognized with IU East’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Institute for Education Management.

Coons and his wife, Tammy, live in Terre Haute.

About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is dedicated to preparing its students with the world’s best undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics education in an environment infused with innovation, intellectual rigor and individualized attention. The institute is consistently recognized nationally as an elite STEM school for distinctions that include faculty excellence, return on investment, value added and career services. Career placement is near 100 percent year after year. Six of the college’s professors are listed in the Princeton Review’s Best 300 Professors book. Located in Terre Haute, Indiana, Rose-Hulman has an enrollment of approximately 2,100 undergraduate students and nearly 100 graduate students. Learn more at