ACUI has named Ralph Gigliotti Ph.D’17 the recipient of the 2023 Chester A. Berry Scholar Award in recognition of his research on the study and practice of crisis leadership in higher education. Gigliotti received the award at ACUI’s 2023 Annual Conference held in Boston, Massachusetts from February 26 – March 2, 2023.
Gigliotti is assistant vice president for strategic programs in the Office of University Strategy and director of the Center for Organizational Leadership at Rutgers University, in addition to serving as a part-time faculty member in the Communication Department at SC&I.
The award, according to ACUI, “is presented annually to an individual in recognition of outstanding writing that honors ACUI’s first executive director’s timeless and intellectual contributions in the field of college unions and student activities.”
"I am extremely grateful to ACUI for this recognition of my research on crisis leadership in higher education,” Gigliotti said. “I am so pleased that the members of this community, including individuals engaged in student affairs, leadership, and student union management, found my research to be relevant to their work.”
ACUI, formerly known as the Association of College Unions International, chose Gigliotti as this year’s recipient, the organization wrote, because “in his ACUI Bulletin article, “Crisis Leadership on Campus: Understanding, Navigating, and Leading in the Complexity of Crisis,” Ralph Gigliotti, Ph.D., exemplified outstanding writing related to the spirit of community and solidarity cultivated by college unions. The article presents an extension of key themes from his book, “Crisis Leadership in Higher Education: Theory and Practice,” published by Rutgers University Press in 2020.
In his dual roles at the university, Gigliotti provides executive leadership for a portfolio of signature academic leadership programs, consultation services, and research initiatives. He oversees the alignment and coordination of localized planning activities with major university priorities, and he ensures consistency of academic leadership development efforts across the institution. He is in the process of finalizing a manuscript for a book on post-crisis leadership in higher education that will be published by Rutgers University Press.
In addition to his part-time faculty position at SC&I, he also holds teaching appointments in the Ph.D. Program in Higher Education at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education; the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (Robert Wood Johnson Medical School); and Rutgers Business School.
According to the ACUI website, the organization is “the professional home to thousands of campus community builders around the world. Primarily focused on the work of those within the college unions and student activities field, the Association strives to provide an inclusive, welcoming community for all those who choose to belong.”