Katia Passerini, Ph.D., a nationally recognized knowledge management scholar with extensive higher education experience, was appointed Interim President of Seton Hall on July 24, 2023.
Prior to this appointment, she served the University for three years as Provost and Executive Vice President. Arriving during the height of the pandemic, she played a key role in instituting the HyFlex teaching modality that enabled the University to achieve safe and healthy in-person instruction.
Interim President Passerini was an influential voice in the development of Harvest Our Treasures, the University’s strategic plan. Advancing her strategic focus on research and academic innovation, Academic Affairs made significant progress under her leadership.
Her accomplishments at Seton Hall 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 percent 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.
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.
Immediately prior to her tenure at Seton Hall, Interim President Passerini served as the Lesley H. and William L. Collins Distinguished Chair and Dean of the Lesley H. and William L. Collins College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University.
As the chief academic officer of the Collins College, the largest undergraduate college at St. John’s, she was responsible for strategic and operational planning, faculty and staff recruitment, academic program and curriculum development, and fundraising. During her tenure as Dean, she grew enrollment, launched an array of new academic programs, and raised student retention and success to new heights.
She also served on several senior-level committees, including the President's Advisory Committee; Provost Committee on Academic Prioritization; the Academic Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Committee; and the Academic Technology Governance Committee.
Earlier in her career, she served as Interim Dean and then Dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). In this position, she functioned as the college’s chief academic officer and was responsible for strategic planning, operational management and business process improvement, student recruitment and fundraising. She also served at NJIT as a full professor and the Hurlburt Chair of Management Information Systems in the Tuchman School of Management.
She earned a doctoral degree in Information and Decision Systems from George Washington University; a master’s degree in economics (equivalent) from the University of Rome II -Tor Vergata; a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University; where she was a Fulbright and Bank of Rome Scholar; and a combined bachelor’s/master’s degree in political science from LUISS University in Rome.