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Rowan University’s New Head of Entrepreneurship Joins at a Time of Exciting Growth

There’s a feeling of excitement in the air at the Rohrer College of Business at Rowan University. 

Equipped with a newfound bevy of physical and online resources, as well as a passionate new Executive Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the University is setting its sights high as it plans its mission for 2018.

 “Rowan has gone through a period of explosive growth,” said Eric Liguori, who stepped into his new executive role last summer. “I feel like I come to work everyday and learn something new about the university, and that excites me.” 

Liguori headed north from the University of Tampa to take the job, and he and his team are tasked with not only building on the successes of the past year, but maintaining a vision moving forward. 

In 2017, Rowan began implementing an “entrepreneurship across campus” initiative that laid the foundations for students across all majors to develop entrepreneurial skills. 

Liguori’s job, then, is to map out a clear course for the future built upon those achievements. 

“We’re trying to stake our reputation on entrepreneurial education,” Liguori said. “We’re actively recruiting and hiring research-focused faculty in the entrepreneurship education space, and we’re trying to create new programs that foster an environment that’s conducive to students actually taking action.” 

Fortunately, he has a few tools at his disposal. Rowan has recently opened three new buildings for the school, including a brand new business school and a second engineering building. 

“It’s neat to cross-pollinate entrepreneurship among the schools,” Liguori said.

The term “cross-pollination” comes up a lot in Liguori’s discussions. With the infrastructure in place, he and his faculty are hoping that they can provide a high-quality, entrepreneurial-based education for any student on campus, regardless of their major. Team work, or cross-pollination, between students and schools will help to further that mission. 

Liguori’s also making sure that cooperation spills over into the community around Rowan. 

The team recently rounded out its initial Advisory Council, a group of 19 diverse individuals spanning different regions and industries, to help lead Rowan into the coming era. 

Plenty of decisions are on the horizon. The school’s currently deciding how many entrepreneurs-in-residence to bring into Rowan, and as certain areas of the business school continue to outgrow their space, the school adapts and plans out the best way to manage the expansion. 

Events are on the way as well. The Rohrer New Venture Competition, set for the spring, is an opportunity for students to showcase the viability of their ideas and present their business plans to industry leaders. In addition, an ongoing Spotlight Series will bring in high-profile entrepreneurs from across the region and country.  

As Liguori chats with students and alumni every day, he’s both extremely impressed with what they’ve been able to accomplish thus far and also excited for what’s to come. 

“We don’t have the reputation in the region that some of our peers do in entrepreneurship, but I feel we’re competing at the same level in a lot of ways.”