Donna Rapaccioli

Donna Rapaccioli

Dean, Fordham University, College of Business Administration, since 2007.

Education: PhD, New York University, 1989; Master of Philosophy, New York University, 1986; BS, Fordham University, 1983

Last administrative role: Acting Dean, Fordham University, College of Business Administration

On being a dean: One challenge is having to make difficult personnel decisions, especially when it involves kind people who weren’t able to meet the demands needed to bring the college forward. On a personal note, the structured schedule, the difficulty in finding time to read journal articles of interest, or attend a lecture that I simply find interesting remain challenges. Simply put, re-creating a work/life balance, which is mostly work, took some getting used to.

On the challenges ahead: The financial uncertainly has already created, and will continue to create, a whole series of challenges for students, faculty and administrators. Given that we are a tuition-driven institution that has a deep commitment to our Jesuit mission, the economic downtown is very troubling. For me, the key is to maintain a positive attitude and foster an environment of innovative thinking. That, I believe, will allow Fordham to identify and capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.

On being a woman leader: I am not sure if it is because of my gender, but for me it is difficult to share unwanted or unpleasant news with a student or a faculty member. It takes me a long time to accept that some students or faculty, while they are really fine people, just aren’t a “good fit” here. Once I come to that point, I reflect, perhaps too long, on what I could have done differently. The most rewarding aspect is spending time with the students and seeing them grow into successful business professionals. I am so proud of them; I feel like they are my own children!