Bob Fisher earned the moniker “Bob the Builder” by spearheading over $1 billion in new construction during his 21-year tenure at Belmont University. Accompanying and enabling the physical transformation of the campus was a dramatic expansion of the University’s programs, including the addition of medical, law and pharmacy schools, the acquisition of two colleges of art & design, that enabled Belmont to grow from fewer than 3,000 students to over 8,000 during his tenure. A core part of growth strategy was becoming “Nashville’s University”, including the largest Music Business program in the U.S. and a new performing arts center that serves as home for the Nashville Opera. Bob share how he was able to leverage his economics and business training to create one of the most remarkable financial success stories in higher education – with the University generating an $82 million annual surplus on a budget of $350 million, while drawing under 2% of the endowment and offering annual faculty salary increases averaging 5%/year.
David Finegold is the president of Chatham University.