Frostburg State Names Delia VP for Regional Development and Engagement

Aug 13, 2018 12:50 PM

Al Delia has joined Frostburg State University as vice president for Regional Development and Engagement (RDE), which is a new position and office at the University.

Funded separately from the University System of Maryland appropriation in Gov. Larry Hogan’s budget, RDE will work to integrate University resources with regional partners in Western Maryland. Its goal is to help communities and companies in the region be competitive and meet the challenges of economic and community development.

“I am confident that Al brings the ideal blend of skills and experience to make a real impact here,” said President Ronald Nowaczyk. “His previous positions have required him to build creative partnerships and nurture collaborations while bringing resources to underserved rural areas. We are fortunate to have him working to advance Western Maryland, and I’m grateful to Gov. Hogan, Sen. (George) Edwards, and our local delegates for making this office a funding priority.”

Delia is now the primary contact point for companies, nonprofit organizations and governments in the region to access FSU’s intellectual capital and other resources to address regional opportunities and challenges. He will also lead government relations for FSU and explore opportunities to improve the depth of relationships with local, state and federal governments.

“I arrived in Western Maryland a little more than a month ago, and I’ve already met with numerous business and community leaders,” said Delia. “I am excited about the prospects for creating partnerships between regional stakeholders and our talented faculty, staff and students here at FSU.”

Each of those groups has personal reasons for being in Western Maryland, but their presence here provides common ground.

“All of us here – on campus and beyond – are better off when our region works together to prosper,” Delia said. “It’s important to know that when one part of our region succeeds, we all benefit. Working together in Western Maryland, and even across state lines, we can more easily compete and win against tough global competition.”

Working with private- and public-sector partners, RDE will help mobilize faculty, students and staff to provide information, technical assistance and problem-solving services to better implement economic and community development plans and programs. Through those partnerships, RDE aims to help make the Western Maryland tri-state region a premier destination in which to live, learn, work and play.

Prior to FSU, Delia served as director of the Office of Health Access at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, N.C. Before that, he was secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services. In earlier roles, he served as senior advisor to North Carolina Gov. Beverly Eaves Perdue; as CEO of the state’s Eastern Region Development Commission; and as associate vice chancellor for Research, Economic Development and Community Engagement at ECU.

Delia’s work at FSU will build on several recent studies of the regional economy. One, completed in early 2013, estimated that the economic impact of FSU’s operations, employees and students on Allegany County was conservatively estimated at $121 million per year; its impact on Maryland was estimated at $173 million per year.

Another city of Frostburg study commissioned in 2017 researched which industries are best suited to the area and most likely to employ Frostburg graduates. The report identified several likely industry targets and called for organizations across Western Maryland to collaborate to promote FSU’s academic programs and alumni, as well as the region’s inherent competitive advantages.

To contact Delia about accessing FSU’s intellectual capital or otherwise partnering with FSU, email aadelia@frostburg.edu or call 301-687-3017.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.