Vice President of Campus Services
Rita LaRue earned a Master of Science degree from Drexel University and joined Drexel’s Division of Student Life and Administrative Services in 1997. From 2007 through 2015, LaRue served as Senior Associate Vice President for Drexel Business Services, providing leadership and creative solutions for University Housing, Campus Dining, Retail Management, University Bookstores, DragonCard Services, Dragon Dollars, Event & Conference Services, Parking Services, Printing & Mailing Services, Vending and the Drexel Student Centers. This portfolio includes 2.5 million square feet at Drexel’s three Philadelphia campuses and an annual budget of more than $100.0 million, as well as 48 professional staff members, 300 industry-related employees and 250 student employees.
In January 2016, LaRue was appointed Vice President of Campus Services. In this expanded role, LaRue continues to provide leadership of Drexel Business Services while leading a number of new initiatives, including comprehensively reimagining residence hall space utilization to achieve maximum alignment between the student’s living, academic and co-op experiences; developing “third places” on campus – physical anchors of community life that facilitate an excellent learning environment and campus engagement; and stimulating and supporting operational sustainability programs in alignment with academic goals and student success.
LaRue is an industry leader in transforming the campus experience through student-responsive initiatives. Her achievements include the College Foodservice Excellence Award from On-Campus Hospitality magazine for the creative and successful expansion of the campus dining program, which increased sales from $11.8 million to $27.0 million in five years; leadership of a market-competitive and student-centric University Housing occupancy management strategy that includes the 2-Year Residency Program, designed to offer students a diverse mix of housing that is close to the campus core; and the "Models of Efficiency" award from University Business magazine for maximizing efficiency in administrative functions, reducing costs for students and improving service.
LaRue serves her industry and community through a variety of volunteer positions as current Past President of NACAS East (the National Association of College Auxiliary Services), the past National Chair of the NACAS Inclusive Excellence Committee, and 10 years as a member of the board of directors for UC Green in Philadelphia, including three years as the chair of the board.
LaRue holds a third degree black belt in karate and coached the International Shotokan Karate Federation’s first national collegiate women’s kumite champion team. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, LaRue now resides just west of Philadelphia, where she is involved in the arts and K-12 public education.