During her six-year tenure as President of University of Maryland University College (UMUC), she doubled the university’s enrollment to 97,000 – to become the nation’s largest public university – along with its annual revenue from $200 million to more than $400 million. Prior to that, she served 10 years at Troy University in Alabama, leaving as Vice Chancellor for the Global Campus, where she negotiated contracts for and managed satellite campuses in 12 countries overseas and 17 states in the U.S.
Dr. Aldridge recently retired from Drexel University after serving five years as senior vice president for online learning and president of Drexel University Online, where she expanded and oversaw the university’s virtual presence with more than 100 online programs and over 9,000 online students. She also spearheaded a research project around innovative practices in technology-enhanced education, which resulted in the award-winning, open source website, Virtually Inspired.
Before joining Drexel, she served as a Senior Fellow at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, where she co-authored a book,
Wired for Success, with Kathleen Harvatt.
Professional Recognition and Achievements
Dr. Aldridge is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international conferences and consultant to university presidents and foreign ministers of education, government officials and business leaders. In addition, she has taken a leading role in numerous higher education panels and various academic conferences across the country and around the world, including a special delegation to Chile and Brazil led by former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
She served as both chair and co-chair of the US-China Forum on Distance Education, as well as co-chair of the Department of Defense Task Force on Distance Learning Standards. In 2008, she was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense to the Air University Board of Visitors and later in 2015, to the Marine Corps University Board of Visitors.
Likewise, Dr. Aldridge has been cited twice as one of Washington’s Top 100 most powerful women and has received numerous awards in recognition of her achievements from such organizations as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Social Security Administration, the U.S. Administration on Aging, the Veteran’s Administration, the U.S. Distance Learning Association, and Women in Technology.
On behalf of the Board of Visitors, we want to express our profound appreciation for your outstanding service to UMUC and its 94,000 students. Your extraordinary vision and transformational leadership has positioned this university as the standard bearer for adult and distance education, and your remarkable legacy will be felt here for many years to come…But perhaps, your greatest contribution is the passion you have inspired in all of us at UMUC, for the students and alumni we so proudly serve. Indeed, we will never forget the relentless dedication and unbridled enthusiasm with which you reached out time and again to meet their needs, engage their perspectives, and acknowledge their accomplishments.
Aldridge is not only an innovative leader but also an ethical, caring educator…she has been a person whom I can call on when I need personal support. I am honored to know her as an administrator, colleague and friend.
Aldridge is an exceptional mentor and friend who will be there for you, rain or shine. I remember that she personally drove us to the main campus in Troy from the hotel when all 11 of us Taiwanese students first visited Troy for our last course, final exams and graduation. She was there to guide and empower us while we toured the Legislature, the printing press and met with the leaders of the Montgomery community in Alabama.
Aldridge is an exceptional leader with emotional intelligence.