Citing uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic, Seton Hall President Dr. Joseph Nyre announced Tuesday that the university would be accelerating the installation of incoming provost Dr. Katia Passerini. According to the University, Passerini’s start date will be moved up by a month to June 5 instead of her initial start date of July 1.
Passerini will replace current interim provost Dr. Karen Boroff, who has served in her interim role since January 2017.
In a press release from the University, Nyre cited a nationwide acceleration of leadership transitions among colleges and universities spurred by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for the shifted start date.
“I am pleased to announce that Dr. Passerini will begin her Seton Hall journey on Friday, June 5,” he said. “This will enable us to benefit from her leadership and global perspective earlier than expected.”
The news comes as Seton Hall unveiled a draft of its long-term strategic plan Monday to the University community, announcing that as a result of the pandemic it would begin “a multi-dimensional planning process” which will integrate crisis and contingency planning with the strategic plan.
“As we look ahead to the new academic year, Dr. Passerini will play an integral role as we finalize strategic contingency plans and chart our course for the University’s future,” Nyre said. “I am grateful to her for changing her personal plans to join the Seton Hall community almost a month earlier than anticipated. That generosity demonstrates her commitment and we eagerly anticipate her arrival.”
According to the University, Passerini will begin working with Boroff soon to prepare to take over the position.
In an email to the entire University community, Nyre thanked Boroff, who he called the University’s “tireless Interim Provost…who continues to invest countless hours in service to our students and community and will help Dr. Passerini prepare for and transition to her new role.”
Passerini, who currently serves as the Lesley H. and William L. Collins Distinguished Chair of the College of Professional Studies at St. John’s University, is set to play a key role in “building the University’s academic excellence; advancing diversity, inclusivity and equity; cultivating a student-focused learning environment and further integrating the Catholic intellectual tradition across the varied disciplines of the University,” according to the statement.
This will not be Passerini’s first time serving at a New Jersey college. Passerini previously served as the Dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College at the New Jersey Institute of Technology from 2003 until 2016.
This is a breaking news story. Check back later for updates.
Nicholas Kerr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @nickdotkerr.