Robert Glidden was president of Ohio University from 1994 until his retirement in 2004, and served as interim president of California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo from August 2010 to February 2011. From 1979 to 1994 he was at Florida State University, as professor and dean of the School of Music (1979-91) and then as provost and vice president for academic affairs (1991-94). During his career he has been a member of the faculties at Wright State University, Indiana University, The University of Oklahoma, and he was dean of music at Bowling Green State University in the late 1970s. He also served as executive director of the National Association of Schools of Music (1972-75). A native of Iowa, he took his academic degrees, all in music, from The University of Iowa. He is a lifetime member of the College Music Society.
President Glidden has been active in higher education accreditation for 40 years. He was chairman of the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation in the mid-1980s and was founding chair of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (1996-98). Presently he serves on the Accreditation Committee for the American Bar Association.
Dr. Glidden has been a consultant or evaluator for more than 90 colleges and universities across the United States and has delivered papers on various aspects of American higher education in Europe and Asia. He has twice served on higher education quality assessment teams for the Irish government, and he has presented workshops for the rectors of the Saudi Arabian Universities.