Dr. Robert J. Marley
Vice President of Student Success
Montana State University
Dr. Robert Marley joined Montana State University (MSU) as faculty in the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department in 1990. He subsequently has held positions as Associate Dean and then Dean of the College of Engineering, and is currently serving as MSU’s Vice President of Student Success.
Under Marley’s leadership as Dean, the College’s enrollment grew from about 1,850 students to over 3,100. Concurrently, faculty research productivity increased nearly 3-fold, helping establish MSU in the highest category of research university (RU/VH) by the Carnegie Foundation. Other notable faculty achievements during his deanship included six NSF CAREER Awards within an eight year period. Student achievement was also stellar with 2 recent Rhodes Scholarships, a Marshall Fellowship, a Gates-Cambridge Scholarship, and numerous Goldwater scholarships (MSU ranks 10th nationally in cumulative Goldwater awards). Both faculty and student diversity in the College increased significantly under Marley’s leadership.
Marley also helped secure millions of dollars in new funding for the College of Engineering, particularly from Federal sources targeted for large-scale, inter-disciplinary projects—approximately $25 Million during his deanship. He also established significant support from private sources including the College’s first six named positions and approximately $30 Million in total. He was very active in MSU’s expansion of its Innovation Campus, helping the University earn a recent “top 10” ranking from Business Week magazine for innovative, university-based technology transfer.
Seeking to enhance his knowledge of broader issues in higher education, Marley was selected to participate in the prestigious ACE Fellows program in 2012-13. He conducted his Fellowship at Texas A&M University where, among many other activities, he studied models of relationships between research universities and other mission-diverse institutions. Upon returning to MSU, Marley accepted an appointed as Vice President of Student Success where he now serves as a key advisor to the President and is helping to align student affairs operations with a comprehensive strategic plan for the University. This includes the development of a strategic enrollment management function to balance a rapidly growing enrollment with other institutional goals related to student success.
Marley is an internationally recognized scholar and practitioner in the area of occupational ergonomics. He is author of over 90 publications with his research impacting the ergonomics, engineering and public safety related disciplines, and has several citations in key Federal compendiums in these areas. He is an award winning faculty mentor committed to integrating his teaching, research, and outreach. He has co-authored a widely-used textbook, including a Spanish language edition, that is used in a number of engineering schools and continuing education venues world-wide. Marley has also joined with other colleagues to expand the practice of ergonomics and public safety within developing economies, such as in Mexico and Central America, through extensive lectures and workshops.
He is a Fellow of the American Council on Education and has also been elected to national office in the American Society for Engineering Education, as well as to President of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety. He is a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE), a member of several other professional organizations, and has consulted with major corporations nationally and internationally. Marley holds a BS in General Science as well as an MS and PhD in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University.
Marley and his wife of nearly 30 years, Margaret Maben, reside in Bozeman, MT, where they enjoy many outdoor activities together. These include bicycling, hiking, skiing, rock climbing and fly-fishing. Margaret holds degrees in graphic design as well as microbiology, and has worked in the biotechnology industry in Bozeman.