Passerini named interim president at Seton Hall

Former provost brings impressive academic resume to position

Katia Passerini, a top leader at Seton Hall since 2020, was named interim president of Seton Hall University by the school’s board of Regents, effective immediately.

Passerini, who was serving as provost and executive vice president, replaces Joseph Nyre, who announced Monday morning that he would be taking a sabbatical instead of fulfilling the final year of his contract.

Board Chair Hank D’Allesandro, in a note to the Seton Hall community, said he welcomed Passerini to her new role “with gratitude for her willingness to serve the university.”

D’Allesandro said the board has authorized the school to begin a ‘national search’ for its next president. It is unclear if Passerini will be a candidate for the permanent role.

D’Allesandro said he expected to make an announcement regarding a new provost soon, too.

Passerini brings impressive academic credentials to the role. She holds degrees in political science (LUISS University in Italy) and economics (University of Rome II- Tor Vergata in Italy). She also earned MBA and Ph.D. degrees from The George Washington University, and a Certificate in Business Project Management from New York University.

She also was a Fulbright Student Scholar, Fulbright Administrator Scholar and an Italian National Research Council Fellow (CNR).

At Seton Hall, she was an influential voice in the development of Harvest Our Treasures. Under her leadership, Academic Affairs has made substantial progress over the last three years in achieving the plan’s goals. Advancing a strategic focus on research and academic innovation, Interim President 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 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.

These achievements are the latest in a career that is notable for the Interim President’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.

Passerini has strong ties to New Jersey, too.

From 2003-13, she was Professor and Hurlburt Chair of MIS at the Martin Tuchman School of Management at NJIT. And during the academic years 2013-16, she served as the dean for the Albert Dorman Honors College, where she worked closely with the Board of Visitors to launch the third Albert Dorman Honors College strategic plan (2014-2020) while advising, recruiting, and developing new programs and articulations.

Her professional background includes multi-industry projects at Booz Allen Hamilton (now part of PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and the World Bank, where she focused on information technology projects in Europe, North America and the South Pacific.