February 22, 2018/New York City — Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) names Dr. Joanne Passaro as its sixth President.  

“The Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. Joanne Passaro has the experience, vision, and passion for MCNY’s unique mission of access and opportunity to lead us into the future.” – Charles Armstrong, Chair, Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Committee.

Dr. Joanne Passaro is a cultural anthropologist who holds B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University.  Since 2007, she has served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. At Carroll, she led the development of more than 20 programs, launched a new School of Business and led both primary and program-specific accreditations.  She previously served as Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and as Acting Provost and Vice President for Planning and Institutional Assessment at Mercy College, here in New York.  Her research work with homeless men and women in New York City cemented her commitment to higher education and social justice.

“I am delighted that Dr. Passaro has been appointed to serve as the next leader of MCNY.  She brings a combination of experience, passion, and dedication that will serve the college well.  In addition, her personal history as a non-traditional student resonates with the needs and experiences of MCNY students.  I look forward to supporting her and the College as she takes the lead in carrying on our great mission in the spirit of our founder Audrey Cohen.” — Dr. Vinton Thompson, President

Passaro was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens.  She and her spouse, Ginger Duiven, who currently serves as Executive Director of Literacy Services of Wisconsin, will relocate from Milwaukee to New York City sometime in the spring.

Chair Armstrong said the Presidential Search Committee’s success was due to the thoughtful participation of the entire MCNY community, as well as the hard work and cooperation among its members.  “I want to thank my colleagues on the search committee for their commitment to the College’s future and their thoughtfulness and dedication during this process,” said Armstrong.

The search committee, which included representatives from the Board of Trustees, the faculty, staff, students, and alumni, partnered with R.H. Perry & Associates, one of the top executive search firms in the area of higher education. With the firm’s assistance, the committee spent the summer of 2017 conducting community forums and interviews with MCNY stakeholders. From these sessions several common and important themes emerged that were ultimately reflected in the candidate profile, which drew a large and diverse pool of qualified applicants.  The Search Committee then hosted semi-finalist interviews in December and invited four finalists to visit MCNY.  The entire campus community engaged with the finalists and shared their feedback with the Search Committee.

The search began when Dr. Thompson announced his retirement in June 2017, effective June 2018.  During his tenure, MCNY re-established a presence in the Bronx with a Branch Campus, created five new degree programs, and successfully completed a primary re-accreditation.   In 2016, MCNY had its most successful fundraising year ever, bringing in more than $3.2 million in grants and gifts.  The College also carried out the largest projects in its 54-year history, building and financing new facilities in Manhattan and the Bronx.

“Dr. Thompson’s service has been an inspiration, leading us all through some of the college’s most challenging times,” Armstrong noted,”creating the solid foundation that we enjoy today.”  Dr. Thompson will preside over his last commencement ceremony for MCNY on June 16, 2018, at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center.  Dr. Passaro will become President-elect on June 1 and will spend time on both campuses getting to know the MCNY community before assuming office on July 1, 2018, following the retirement of President Vinton Thompson, Ph.D. after ten years of service.

“Collaboration and partnership have been the cornerstones of my success, and I am confident that they will be the foundation of another successful decade as Metropolitan College of New York reaches new heights in the realization of its distinctive and important educational mission.” — Dr. Joanne Passaro

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