Chief of Staff returns to alma mater


After working at Union College for about three years, Chief of Staff Dr. Robert Kelly, has decided to leave the college at the end of this academic year. He will be taking up a position at his alma mater, Loyola University Maryland. At Loyola, Kelly will be the Vice President and Special Assistant to the President. “While I’m sorry to lose him from the Union community, I recognize that this is a wonderful opportunity for Rob and his family and I have every confidence that he will excel in his new role,” said President Stephen C. Ainlay. “I have enjoyed working with Rob since his arrival at Union in 2014. Rob has been a wonderful colleague to me, members of the Senior Staff, and all those who work in and closely with the President’s Office.”

At Union, Kelly’s position had him serving as support and as an advisor to the President of the College. “The position reported directly to the President, was a member of the President’s Senior Staff, supported and assisted the President in setting policy, interacting with and representing the President to internal and external constituencies,” according to Kelly.

Furthermore, “another part of the Chief of Staff position was supervising the staff in the President’s Office. The position served as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees, managed the operations of the Board of Trustees, supported and advised the Chair of the Board on policy decisions, board management and College procedures,” said Kelly.

Prior to becoming the Chief of Staff at Union, Kelly was a member of the presidential cabinet for 10 years. “He has ably guided the Office of Institutional Research, the Kelly Adirondack Center and the Title IX Office,” said Ainlay. Kelly also mentioned how he will bring what he has learned from Union to his next position. He said, “Many institutions talk about T-shaped learners and enhancing the depth and breadth of education. Union is doing it the right way and I hope I can bring aspects of this experience with me going forward in my career.” Kelly also noted that “What Union is doing to educate its students and the role Union plays in the landscape of liberal arts colleges is very unique.” Kelly noted how his time working at Union has shaped him.

According to Kelly, “Union strengthened my belief in dedicated faculty and staff mentors who care for students and the institution. At the same time, the role has given me a glimpse into the opportunities and challenges of the modern day presidency.” In his email to the Union community, President Ainlay thanked Kelly, saying that he “cannot thank him enough for all that he’s done.”

Additionally, “Rob has been an important voice in our discussions of major campus facilities projects, campus initiatives, and key hires. Rob has also helped represent us in discussions with Schenectady officials and has engaged alumni and friends of the College,” President Ainlay noted. Kelly as two children, Alex and Addison, and a partner, Dr. Bridget Kelly. He feels that “this is a great opportunity professionally and is also good” for his family. During Kelly’s time here, Ainlay said, “He’s built close working relationships with students, faculty, and staff. He’s been indispensable as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees.” When asked what he will miss most about Union, Kelly replied, “I will most miss colleagues, the President’s Office team, members of Senior Staff and the faculty and staff. I will also miss the amazing students I have been blessed to work with and got to know.”


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