Roscitt Gives Lessons in Leadership


Stevens Trustee and Vice Chair of the Board Rick Roscitt ’73 understands the way business works. His intrinsic knowledge is based on years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies. He currently chairs Sapien Software, LLC, and is chairman and CEO of Delphi Consulting Group, LLC. He has served a variety of leadership roles for AT&T, where he worked for 28 years. He says that one doesn’t get to be a leader in business without a serious commitment. “I’ve spent a great deal of my time and energy on my professional career. To get to the level of success that I’ve achieved – you don’t get there part-time,” said Roscitt.

To hear Roscitt tell his story, one would think the path to success is a matter of learning the process of logical thinking: “Without a doubt, what I learned at Stevens is how to learn. Stevens taught me that there is a format and a process to logical thinking and that leads to learning,” he said. He explained that course material was difficult and introduced rapidly. Students either made sense of it or “got run over.” “You had a very limited period of time to make it. I think that is what I enjoyed the most. To put it all together and make sense of it all,” he said.

Processing massive amounts of information in a short period of time is his forte. While working at AT&T, he was selected to pursue an accelerated one year master’s program at Sloan School of Management at MIT. The program was demanding, but it had perks. He was able to travel a great deal and got to meet industry CEOs. “I was very fortunate that I was picked,” he said. Roscitt says that he was picked with the hope that he would one day be a leader at the company. That expectation was fully realized in his long and distinguished career at AT&T.

Not surprisingly, Roscitt has reached the upper echelons of business. If he has an idea, you can bet it’s a good one. A career highlight at AT&T involved creating the startup AT&T Solutions, where he did outsourcing for Fortune 500 companies. “We grew that from a dozen people to over 5000 people. Five years later, we were billing over $5 billion dollars a year,” he said. “I’ve always felt that if you find work that you really enjoy with people you enjoy and if it’s what you want to do you can achieve nirvana.”

While his success is what many dream about, he is quick to point out that his education made it possible. His gratitude for Stevens goes hand in hand with a deeply held belief that alumni should give back: “I can’t emphasize how important it is. Without the jumpstart that I got from Stevens, [I wouldn’t have] the confidence in myself to accept more increasingly difficult assignments and be successful at it. In no small part, I owe that to Stevens. I think you have to give back. And the way to pay back some of that success that I’ve enjoyed is to do whatever I can to support Stevens,” he said.

As a member of the Board of Trustees for 20 years, he has given generously to Stevens. Yet he struggled with where to apply his most recent major gift. However, the more he thought about it, the more he realized his gift of an endowed chair to the School of Business made the most sense: “It became increasingly clear to me that the School of Business is on an incredible journey of success. I felt that this can really differentiate the school as they go forward,” he said.

Roscitt is a leader in business, so his attraction to the prospect of building future generations of leaders is only natural. He says great leadership separates the ordinary from very successful enterprises. “Now there is an opportunity to create within the school an endowed chair that focuses on leadership. We are going to reach out to executives from all over the world and expose [the students] to the research and the learning. The second thing is a little more subtle. I think that they then have an affinity to Stevens that they might not have had. In the long term, we get an ever increasing cohort of very successful senior executives who have attended our programs and who feel an affection for Stevens. And that can’t be bad.”

Student achievements will only grow, which could result in graduates feeling grateful for all the opportunities they were presented with, he says. “If you put your energy into something and you get rewarded for it you are usually appreciative and thankful to the source of that.”

Appreciation for people is something that he never forgets. He credits the hard-working Board members as a “secret weapon” that is moving Stevens forward. And the great leadership of President Favardin. “I couldn’t be more proud to have him as the president. He is a wonderful person and a great leader. It would be hard to overestimate the contributions that he has made. It’s visceral. When you walk on campus and you talk to people, the culture is different, the attitude is different, it’s so positive. It’s cooperative, it’s collaborative with tangible results. The recognition that Stevens is getting is through his leadership,” he said.


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