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About Robe Institute

Robe Institute History and Mission

Established in 1996 by the Ohio University Board of Trustees, the T. Richard and Eleanora K. Robe Leadership Institute encourages and promotes effective leadership among the Russ College’s students, faculty, and staff.

The institute’s mission is to:

  • Provide a focal point in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology for the understanding of leadership and to promote effective leadership among students, faculty, and staff of the College.
  • Educate students about the fundamentals and importance of effective leadership in professional practice in order to better serve their professions and society.
  • Encourage students with leadership aptitudes and interest to study in the Russ College at both the undergraduate and the graduate levels.

About T. Richard Robe

The institute was established by the Ohio University Board of Trustees in 1996 to honor retiring Dean T. Richard Robe, and his wife, Eleanora, who served the Russ College as a team during their 16-year tenure. With Dean Robe’s leadership, the College introduced selective admission standards, women’s and minority programs, and other innovative programs. Robe also worked to strengthen the College’s faculty by introducing the practice of named professorships at Ohio University. He has served on numerous boards, consulted with several corporations, and published in several engineering journals.

Robe graduated from Ohio University in 1955 with high honors in civil engineering. After working for General Electric and serving in the U.S. Air Force as a fighter pilot, he returned to Ohio University to complete a master’s degree in mechanical engineering while teaching civil engineering. After earning his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics at Stanford University, Robe was a professor at the University of Kentucky and later as associate dean for academic affairs in its college of engineering.

Robe became the institute’s first director and architect of its initiatives. He retired as director at the end of 2004.