About Dr. Aldridge
Higher Education Leadership
Before joining the Thomas Jefferson University team, as Interim University President, Dr. Aldridge spent five years at Drexel University as Senior Vice President for online learning and President of Drexel University Online – where she oversaw more than 125 online programs. While there, she worked closely with the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Professions to launch premier online graduate programs, designed with the future demand for highly qualified healthcare professionals in mind. Dr. Aldridge also spearheaded a research project around innovative practices in technology-enhanced education, which resulted in the award-winning, open-source website, Virtually Inspired.
During her six-year tenure as President of University of Maryland University College (now University of Maryland Global Campus), Dr. Aldridge 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 spent 10 years at Troy University in Alabama, where as Vice Chancellor for the Global Campus, she negotiated contracts for and managed satellite campuses in 14 countries and 17 states, enrolling more than 18,000 students.
In addition to her academic leadership roles, Dr. Aldridge 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. And she carries the academic rank of Collegiate Professor, having taught courses in management, organizational behavior, and policy analysis at Troy University and the National University of Singapore, while conducting research on health and aging in the US and Asia, along with both sides of the US/Mexico border.
Healthcare Program Development & Oversight
Dr. Aldridge began her career working in a private consulting firm in the healthcare field, responsible for research; project design and management; conducting and managing national and international education institutes; health planning; and budget development.
While there, Dr. Aldridge served as National Project Director for a national research project on the Development of a Health Education Strategy for local March of Dimes Chapters, investigating current health education strategies for the National Foundation March of Dimes. She was also the project director for the “Implications of an Alternative Future in Community Health Systems” think tank on self-care strategies in primary healthcare for the National Planned Parenthood organization.
Likewise, Dr. Aldridge served as a research associate in charge of collecting data and research for the book entitled MEDICAL PEER REVIEW: THEORY AND PRACTICE, published by C.V. Mosby Company in 1977. And finally, she worked as project manager for health professional continuing education programs on management and specialty training for the American Nurses’ Association; long term care associations; physical therapy associations; and home health care agencies in eight U.S. cities.
From there, Dr. Aldridge went on to become a Division Director for the Denver Regional Council of Governments, responsible for planning, coordinating, and funding direct services for 53 percent of Colorado’s older adult population. In that capacity, she supervised a team of 16 staff and 23 project directors, tasked with strategic planning, organizational development, and team development; program evaluation and quality/outcomes measures for care.
Professional Recognition and Achievements
A well-known author and keynote speaker at national and international conferences, Dr. Aldridge has researched and published numerous scholarly journal articles and conference papers in the areas of adult and technology-enhanced education; institutional business models; academic accreditation; and health care administration and cost containment.
Dr. Aldridge was also both the chair and co-chair for the US-China Forum on Distance Education; as well as the co-chair of the Department of Defense Task Force on Distance Learning Standards. Most recently, she served on a global team for the UAE prime minister to rank projects for Global Impact Awards to be conferred later this year in Dubai, while also performing accreditation reviews for the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education.
Having been cited twice as one of Washington DC’s Top 100 most powerful women; and has received numerous awards from such higher education organizations as the US Distance Learning Association, Women in Technology, and Campus Technology. Likewise, she has earned outstanding service awards from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Social Security Administration.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Colorado Women’s College, Dr. Aldridge completed her master’s degree and PhD in public administration at the University of Colorado, where her doctoral research on the impact of Medicare on patient care outcomes was funded by HHS.
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.