Michael Avaltroni Biography
Michael J. Avaltroni was appointed the ninth president in Fairleigh Dickinson’s history on April 26, 2023. A long-time faculty member and administrator, he had previously been serving as Interim President since January 1, 2023.
Dr. Avaltroni is a 1999 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, receiving a B.S. in chemistry, summa cum laude. He is the first FDU graduate to serve as the institution’s president. He went on to complete an M.A. in chemistry in 2001 and a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2003, both from Princeton University. His research interest is in surface science, specifically focused on surface modification of titanium materials to facilitate cell attachment, biomineralization and interfacial adhesion in biomedical devices. His research in this area has led to multiple publications and 10 United States patents. In addition, the technology he has created in this field of study has been licensed for the creation of two biotechnology companies, Orthobond, Inc., Princeton, N.J., and Aculon, Inc., San Diego, Calif.
Since joining the University in 2003, Dr. Avaltroni has worked in a number of different capacities, including as a faculty member and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and he was instrumental in the process to create the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. In 2009, he began building the school’s curriculum, experiential learning and programmatic infrastructure as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He took over as Interim Dean in 2012 and was appointed permanently to the position of Dean in Spring 2013. Since creating the blueprint for the school in 2009, he saw the program accept its first class, worked to put together a first-rate team of faculty and staff, built strong relationships with the pharmacy and health-care communities across the state and the region, and moved the program through full accreditation status with the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). He also led efforts to expand health-science offerings across the University through programs in public health, physician assistant studies, occupational therapy and social work.
Dr. Avaltroni was appointed University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs in January 2022. In this role, he led the academic affairs subcommittee of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Advisory Council; laid the groundwork for new community college partnerships; presided over the development of the Hispanic Center (which this year had two of its programs nationally recognized by Excelencia in Education); and coordinated the formation of a new academic leadership team. He further created the Transformational Excellence Awards to honor those faculty and staff who have gone beyond the ordinary to serve FDU’s students.
Since becoming president, Dr. Avaltroni has led many important initiatives including engaging the FDU community in the strategic-planning process that led to the development of the plan titled “FDU Will Soar.” Driving the planning process has been a renewed emphasis on putting students first and on prioritizing those items and initiatives that will most significantly and positively impact students.
FDU also successfully concluded the capital campaign “One University Many Dreams,” which raised approximately $90 million, easily surpassing its original goal of $75 million. The University introduced a new fund-raising campaign, “Students First,” focusing exclusively on raising money to help students have access to and better afford an FDU education.
In April 2023, he was named to the ROI Influencers: Higher Education list for 2023. Each year, ROI-NJ highlights the presidents, deans and directors with the most significant influence and impact at their schools — and within the business community.
He was selected as an NJBIZ 2023 Education Power 50 honoree. Over the past several years, he also was selected by NJBIZ as one of New Jersey’s 40 Under 40 and the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has been recognized multiple times by NJBIZ Magazine as the leader for the #1 Best Place to Work in New Jersey. Additionally, he has received awards from the New Jersey Pharmacists Association, the New Jersey Society for Health Systems Pharmacists, the NJBIZ Healthcare Heroes event and by SmartCEO Magazine for its Corporate Culture Awards. He currently resides in Marlboro, N.J., with his wife, Jill, and their three children.