Katia Passerini
Higher Ed

Seton Hall Appoints Passerini as Interim President

The Seton Hall University Board of Regents has unanimously approved the appointment of Katia Passerini, Ph.D., as interim president of the academic institution, effective immediately. Passerini, who has served as provost and executive vice president since June 2020, steps into the role after Seton Hall President Joseph E. Nyre announced earlier this week that he will take a sabbatical during the upcoming year, and then resign from his position as head of the university.

Passerini, who came to the university during the height of the pandemic, played a key role in instituting the HyFlex teaching modality that enabled the university to achieve a safe and healthy in-person academic year in 2020-21.

She was an influential voice in the development of the university’s strategic plan, Harvest Our Treasures. Under her leadership, Seton Hall’s academic affairs made substantial progress over the last three years in achieving the plan’s goals. Advancing a strategic focus on research and academic innovation, Passerini’s accomplishments include:

  • supporting the development of a host of new undergraduate and graduate programs;
  • planning and implementing Seeds of Innovation, which rebalances administrative and instructional expenses in favor of instruction;
  • hiring more than 60 full-time faculty members over the past two years;
  • facilitating the growth of faculty grant applications by nearly 60 percent since 2020-21 and grant receipts by 146% over the same period;
  • institutionalizing the Academies initiative to foster innovative cross-disciplinary research;
  • increasing focus and funding for international programs; and
  • reorganizing the Division of Continuing and Professional Studies.

These achievements are the latest in a career that is notable for Passerini’s success at every level of higher education. A noted leader in Catholic higher education, she was elected to the Administrative Board for the International Federation of Catholic Universities in 2022. In this role, she represents all of North America in what has been called the United Nations of Catholic higher education.

Highly motived by Seton Hall’s Catholic mission, she was the strongest candidate for Provost three years ago and a natural choice for this new role, according to the Board of Regents.

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