Valli named SNU president


Dr. Robert Valli was named Sierra Nevada University’s president in August.

By: Brayden Stephenson, Editor

While students are starting fall semester at Sierra Nevada University virtually, the college is under new leadership with the appointment of Dr. Robert Valli as president. Valli was named following a 15-month of search.

Appointing a new university president is not an easy task, especially when SNU has to take into consideration its history of many short-term presidents, low enrollment, and the reality of online learning and restricted on-campus experiences in the time of Covid-19.

The search process is thorough and extensive, conducted through the college’s board of trustees via a presidential search committee along with a professional headhunter.

“I think the search process is a really interesting thing and it does well at finding the people that we’re looking for. I think Dr. Valli is who we were looking for,” said Daniel Kelly, SNU’s director of marketing. “All of the candidates are executive-level candidates and they all have something to bring to the table, but in the end Dr. Valli will be a great fit and that’s something we’re all pretty excited about.”

Previous to SNU, Dr. Valli served as vice president and dean of the College of Management at Long Island University. His backgrounds in business consulting, investment banking, and entrepreneurship have all contributed to his passion for education and leading students towards a successful future. Valli also has led multiple start- ups in Silicon Valley.

“We need to develop and agile mindset and an entrepreneurial mindset,” Valli said. “Some of my goals include incorporating STEM, entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence in every classroom, I think it will promote engaged learning. The people, passion, and purpose of our school will make us successful.”

It’s no secret that this semester brings new change and stress to the world of schooling. The search process was designed to identify a leader to  navigate unique obstacles that SNU faces, both as a business and as a college operating during a pandemic.

“I embrace disruption, actually I think that this disruption happening to academia right now is a blessing in disguise for SNU,” he said. “I think that we are more agile than other institutions and we can adapt more quickly. I’m excited about finding different ways to deliver education.

“I also believe that tech is at the forefront of liberal arts and through that we can gain global reach and respect.”

Valli brings a strong resume, and emphasizes an ethic centered around communication.

“My Family and I plan to have students over to our house every and Tuesday and Thursday for open houses and potluck dinners. Everyone’s invited. I also have every day from 11:45-1:30 free to go around campus and meet everyone, my door will always be open to connect with all the students and faculty,” he said.

Throughout Valli’s childhood in the Bay Area and his time in Silicon Valley he has come to know and love Tahoe, specifically Incline Village. For him, it’s a homecoming. He hopes to reciprocate his love for the town by better connecting the college and his family to the community of Incline Village.