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The fountain at the center of Regent University's campus in Virginia Beach.

Regent University Honors the Life of Dr. Alfred P. Rovai

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (July 19, 2023) – Regent University received word that Dr. Fred Rovai passed away in his home in Chesapeake on March 14, 2023. He was a dedicated member of the Regent community in full time capacity from 2000-2011, both as a professor in the School of Education and in his roles in Academic Affairs where he served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and briefly as the Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Headshot of the late Dr. Alfred P. Rovai, who was part of the Regent University community from 2000-2011

Fred helped design and launch Regent’s Ed.D. program and served as the school’s resident statistical expert, guiding numerous students through impactful dissertations. He was particularly interested in using data and technology to promote effective teaching and learning. He collaborated regularly with faculty, students, and alumni on research projects to enhance quality online and blended instruction.

As a practicing Roman Catholic, Fred was deeply committed to “teaching Christianly” and ensuring consistency between professed beliefs and lived practices. Students regularly reported that Fred combined high expectations and exacting standards with extreme generosity of time and spirit as he engaged with them. He also had a genuine affection for animals, particularly his cats, and was quick to share stories and photographs.

Fred authored several books and more than 50 scholarly articles in his academic career, including his pioneering development of the Classroom Community Scale (CCS) in 2002. The CCS was the first valid and reliable measure of online classroom community and shaped the direction of online pedagogy with a priority toward promoting community as a means of effective education.

Fred hailed originally from San Jose, California. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from San Jose University, an MA degree in Public Administration from University of Northern Colorado, an MS degree in Education from Old Dominion University, and Ph.D. in Academic Leadership from Old Dominion University. He also completed postgraduate work in systems management from the University of Southern California. Fred retired from a career in the U.S. Army with the rank of Colonel. He served as a military intelligence officer in his early career and ended his military service in the prestigious post of Dean of the Joint Forces Staff College.

After his military service, he held academic appointments at UCLA and Old Dominion University prior to joining the faculty at Regent University in 2000. He received tenure at Regent and promoted to the rank of professor in 2004. In 2009, ODU recognized him as the Darden College of Education Alumni Fellow. After retiring from full-time academic service with Regent University in 2011, Fred subsequently served as an adjunct professor in the School of Education and continued academic writing in his spare time.

About Regent University

Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university, with more than 13,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University has been ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for 11 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2023).